By Julie Washburn Souza
Quail Run Elementary School in Warner Robins first opened its doors in 1994. Since that time, the school has become known for the high test scores of its students. In 2009, students at Quail Run scored above both state and district averages in CRCT test scores. The school was awarded GA School of Excellence in 2008 and 2009 for having the highest reading and math scores in the congressional district.
Quail Run principal Dr. Cheryl A. Thomas attributes the school’s success to the education of her staff. “It’s the secret to our success,” explains Dr. Thomas. “We have so many teachers here who put in extra hours without getting paid anything for it. They just really care about the kids and they want them to succeed.”
Dr. Thomas received her specialist and doctoral degree from Argosy University in Sarasota, Fl. She was an elementary school teacher before serving as assistant principal at Quail Run for three years. She became principal several years ago. Dr. Thomas has two children who attend Quail Run.
According to Dr. Thomas, teachers at the school work hard to identify and assist students who need extra help academically. “We are very focused on remediation and enrichment within the instructional day,” Dr. Thomas explains, “so that all students will master the standards that are taught, and achieve to the highest level.” The school offers a formal after school tutoring program in math and reading for students who need extra help.
Students learn in different ways, and the teachers and staff at Quail Run make it their goal to value each student as an individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs. Teachers try to adjust instruction to accommodate a variety of learning styles and often incorporate hands-on learning activities into lessons, striving to “think outside the box” when it comes to lessons.
The school’s mission statement is to “believe, achieve, and succeed.” According to Dr. Thomas, the teachers and staff strive to enable students to believe in themselves. The staff works to help students achieve and succeed by providing a safe, comfortable, child-centered environment that promotes student learning and addresses the individuality of each child through the cooperative support of parents, teachers and the community.
Like other schools in the county, Quail Run also uses the workshop model of instruction in which students learn through small groups, hands-on activities, and communication with peers. During each subject area, students get short lessons and often break into small groups afterward for independent work, discussions and activities.Students are then encouraged to share their new knowledge through brief oral reports to classmates.
Students are given many opportunities to develop responsibility by assisting with activities at the school. Fifth grade students help with various jobs, such as teacher’s helper, safety patrol, snack shack helper, cub ambassadors, student helper/tutors, and morning welcome team. Students of all ages are also encouraged to join school clubs and extracurricular activities. Some of the activities available to students are chorus, ecology club, student council, art alliance, partners club, sports club, and 4-H.
Quail Run students also participate in the accelerated reading program in which students read books on their instructional levels as a supplement to the school’s daily reading program. As students increase their reading levels and comprehension, they earn points as incentives. The school has three banners (leveled by silver, gold, and platinum colors) where student pictures and names are displayed as they increase their points and reading comprehension.
Over the past years, students from Quail Run Elementary have competed and placed in school and county-wide competitions such as the Houston County Oratorical Contest, Academic Quiz Bowl, Read Across America Contest, Duke Talent Identification Program, Houston County Spelling Bee, and Young Georgia Author’s Competition.
Quail Run serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The school is located on a large 20 acre campus, and has 58 classrooms. With its current enrollment of 690 students, the school is not considered overcrowded, so classes are housed inside the building, with no need for portable classrooms. There are also three separate age-appropriate playgrounds for students to enjoy.#
Quail Run Elementary
250 Smithville Church Road
Warner Robins, GA 31088