SAIL teachers prepare for students’ first day next week


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – Students who attend the School for Arts Infused Learning can expect a few changes when the bell rings next week in Evans. NewsChannel 6 was there as teachers geared up for the year.

It started with light breakfast and then they hit the books. Teachers at SAIL prepared for hundreds of students who will start school on Monday. Along with a new curriculum, is a new leader to guide the way.

DeAnne Crossman showed up with a few other mothers to get them all going.

“We want to have really positive vibes with the school and we want them all to feel like they’re a family,” she told us.

Crossman and other parents fueled their kids’ teachers with sandwiches and fruit before sending them to classrooms.

She added, “We want to do this on a regular basis so that they’re able to know that they’re appreciated. They work hard and they are here long hours.”

Crossman, a mother of two SAIL students, serves as President of the parent-teacher organization Parents are Lifesavers or PALs. She and her team got the SAIL staff going before their day full of trainings and classroom preps.

Teresa Fox, a 3rd grade teacher, was among the group setting up her classroom for students.

“As they come through the door sometimes it may be the first smile that they get. It might be the first meal that they get at lunch,” Fox anticipated.

Fox also said she is all ready to welcome 24 students for a balance of arts and academics.

“It’s taking it beyond the book. So, not just saying open up to page 67 and let’s look at the vocabulary words and let’s look at the definitions. Taking it a step further and saying what does this word mean and inviting that drama teacher in or that music teacher in and adding that piece to the learning to make it more interesting for the student,” she said.

Najuana McGraw agrees.

“You may come in and you may see students acting out the parts of the cell. You will see someone who is the cell membrane. Another student is the mitochondria,” she said of the arts and academics balance.

McGraw is ready for all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. And her hope is that when they look, they see science.

She added, “Whether it’s the clothes that they’re wearing, the air that they are breathing, the trees all around them. Science is everywhere.”

Gene Dunn will lead the pack for the first time this year after a heated school year last year. He brings a fresh approach to the public charter that will soon be filled with more than 500 K-8 students.

“A student needs to feel loved and cared for,” Chief Academic Officer Dunn said. “If they don’t have those pieces, then it’s going to be hard for them to learn.”

Parents and students will have the opportunity to attend a meet and greet on Thursday and then school begins at SAIL on Monday.

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