Transparency is the center focus for new SAIL school year, leaders say

Thursday, August 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's a new school year at SAIL, the School for Arts Infused Learning in Evans, with new leaders on board.

They say they want a fresh start with more transparency, but the sting of last year is all too familiar.

"The betrayal is just a level I have never felt before," Dr. Michael Berg, the former Upper School Principal and SAIL Founder said in a News 12 interview in November 2018.

It was a trying time for SAIL parents, students and teachers after the governing board fired the superintendent, three board members and removed the upper and lower school principal positions.

The changes resulted in a new organizational chart. The Superintendent position is gone and split up into the CAO, the Chief Academic Officer and the COO, the Chief Operations Officer. The principal positions are also gone and those duties are now assigned to coordinators and directors.

"My job is for us to move past that," Gene Dunn, the Chief Academic Officer, said. "We're doing that with the culture in the building. It's a new day at SAIL and it's completely different."

CAO Gene Dunn is brand new to the school and says he is all about transparency.

"There's not going to be a question in a parent's mind, what's happening at SAIL?"

He says he's increased communication with parents and created new social media pages to fill with updates.

As for Phase II, the root of disagreement last year, he says it's not out of the question.

"No decision has been made about the high school at this point," Dunn said. "They're looking at options trying to develop a plan and figure out what the next steps are."

Dunn says they're at full capacity right now and have about 600 students on the waiting list.

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