On a beautiful day in Evans, Georgia two teachers sat together for coffee and discussed the need for school choice in Columbia County. It was just a casual conversation that began to take form quickly as ideas passed from one to the other. Soon these two teachers decided to survey parents and people in the community to determine if their idea was realistic or just a dream. As you can imagine the response from the community was an emphatic, “YES!” So the journey began.
Two teachers, a vision, and now a mission worked in their off time to recruit strategic support services and develop a founding board. Within just a few months, the two became six and an official Founding Board was formed. The board had a monumental job ahead of them and that was to convince the Georgia State Charter School Commission (SCSC) to invest in the board and authorize the opening of Columbia County’s first Charter School.
After two years of working with consultants, continuing to research, and vet board members, the Founding Board was faced with the challenge of continuing for a third year to seek authorization, or throw in the towel. It was grit and determination that rose to the top and the board members chose to persevere.
Out of the midst of realigning visions and missions, a new school name emerged. The name SAIL: School for Arts-Infused Learning would help the board members share the news that the school was open to all counties in the Greater Augusta Area. The new name also helped to define the academic model for infusing the arts into daily instruction.
In the late summer of 2016 the Founding Board received the news for which they had been waiting. An official authorization from the SCSC was approved and all of the hard work, sweat, tears, and long hours had paid off.
Today the Founding Board is now called the SAIL Governing Board. The members are diverse and all have unique skill sets they bring to the table. The school opened its doors to 432 scholars in August of 2017. In August of 2018, the school will have an enrollment of 504 students in grades K-7 and to meet the demand of the growing population, a new state of the art middle school building will also begin construction.
Two teachers, two cups of coffee, a vision, a mission, and a determined team are now one, SAIL.