Parents and students get first look at SAIL charter school at open house

Local parents and students got their first look at eagerly-awaited SAIL, or school for arts-infused learning, charter school at an open house Friday evening. 
Local parents and students got their first look at eagerly-awaited SAIL, or school for arts-infused learning, charter school at an open house Friday evening. 

EVANS, Ga. (WJBF)- Local parents and students got their first look at eagerly-awaited SAIL, or school for arts-infused learning, charter school at an open house Friday evening.

This school has been in the works for years now.  It got its charter back in 2014, and the building itself went up just in the past four months. Parents say they’re looking for something different for their kids with SAIL.

“So far we’re pleasantly like happy with everything. It looks gorgeous,” said parent Evelyn Casalins. “We drive by occasionally, and just the progression of it, to finally be able to come into the building….it was exciting. We were wowed by it.”

Parents have shown a big interest in the public charter school. About 440 students will begin school at SAIL Wednesday, but about 700 are still on the waiting list.

“Parents are still calling, trying to get on the waiting list,” said the school’s director of instruction, Ann Sturkey. “There’s just such an energy and excitement for this new methodology for instruction that we’re doing here.”

The arts-infused learning model aims to use the arts to teach children across different disciplines.

“We’re not going to be just drilling tests and drilling homework, but just a new way to excite children for their learning…another way to engage students with how they’re learning the content,” Sturkey said.

The school is public, so there’s no tuition. It has a statewide-learning zone. It’s accepting students from Columbia, Richmond, Burke, Lincoln and other counties.

Spots are highly coveted at the k-6 school. Evelyn Casalins says she didn’t hesitate to enroll her daughter in kindergarten at SAIL, even though her twin sister wasn’t chosen in the lottery.

“We just knew we wanted to get one of them in, and were thankfully able,” she said. “There was hundreds of people at the lottery drawing. So we were lucky when we got a spot.”

SAIL will be adding a seventh grade next year and an eighth grade in 2019. After that, administrators say they are hoping to add a high school.

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