By Julie Washburn Souza APR 2011
A National School of Character and a Title I School-Wide Project School, Skyview Elementary School is a part of the Bibb County Public School system. The school serves Lizella students from Pk4 to 5th grade.
Skyview Elementary opened in 2002 for the purpose of providing a quality public education to the children living in the southwest corner of Bibb County. The community chose the name Skyview, because of the incredible view that can be seen from the school, which is located on top of a very large hill. The mascot, “Skyhawk” was chosen because, as the first principal visited the construction site of the school, a single hawk was flying overhead.
Current school principal Judy Vickers is now serving in her first year as principal at Skyview. Her goal is to provide a nurturing, safe, and structured environment at the school where all students can reach their full potentials.
Mrs. Judy Vickers states, “I am both honored and humbled to serve as principal of Skyview Elementary School, home of the Sky Hawks! Since it opened its doors nine years ago, Skyview has continually built upon the basic school concept that curriculum, climate, community and character are the pillars of a successful school. As principal, I strive to continue to lead Skyview as a Basic School and will continue to build upon its strong foundation.”
Vickers holds a specialist degree in elementary education and a specialist in leadership and supervision from Valdosta State University. Her career began when she worked as an elementary grades teacher in Coffee County, GA, where she was named Teacher of the Year on three occasions. Mrs. Vickers was principal of two different schools in Coffee County before moving to Bibb County. Under her leadership, both schools became National Learning-Focused Schools of Merit. Both schools also made Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind every year.
Mrs. Vickers believes in providing students with fun and enriching educational opportunities on a daily basis. Each day, students come to school and have the opportunity to participate in activities outside of their normal classroom environments. Aside from receiving all of their academic subjects, students have the opportunity to attend specialty classes each day. The students participate in music class each week, a physical education class two times a week, and a technology class each week. In addition to their connect classes, their classroom teacher takes them to the media center to receive a lesson from the media specialist and to check out books.
The classroom teachers also have times during the week where they take their students to the “Success Maker Lab.” This is a computer lab where students work on reading and math skills. The Success Maker is a prescribed program that meets the individual needs of each student.
Each classroom teacher identifies any students in his or her homerooms who have failed to pass either the reading or math portion of the CRCT or are just having difficulty in one or both of those subject areas. Those students are then served by the school’s EIP (Early Intervention Program) teacher. Students identified for the EIP program receive the extra, individualized help they need every day, in addition to the regular instruction they receive from their normal classroom teachers.
Outside of classroom instruction, students have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities at the school, including a very active 4th and 5th grade chorus. Other activities and clubs for students include “Sky Readers,” a book club made up of 2nd and 3rd grade students. This group takes part in the 20 Georgia Picture Storybook Award Nominees. Each spring, this team competes against other schools on the 20 books they have read.
“Sky Techies” is a group made up of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who create multi media projects and take them to compete in the Bibb County Technology Fair each year. “Sky Runners” is a group made up of 4th and 5th grade students. These students assist in the media center. Their duties include shelving books and assisting with the checking out of materials. The “Sky Walker” club is a group made up of 20 students from the 4th and 5th grades. At the beginning of each school year, students in the 4th and 5th grade apply and interview to have a position on the WSKY news team. There are four separate teams that rotate each month. Each team has the following positions: director, audio technician, video technician, camera person, and announcer.
Skyview students can also participate in student council, an organization which includes a representative from each class in the 1st through 5th grade. Students in the 4th and 5th grade may run to be an officer of student council. The group participates in various service projects, and students who are part of this organization are also asked to ensure their homeroom classes participate in the service project for their grade level.
Academic teams at the school include “Quiz Bowl,” a team made up of students from the 4th and 5th grade that are asked questions from all content areas, and compete with teams from other schools. A math team and a “Math 24” team are also available for math-whiz students who enjoy showing off their skills by competing with each other and students from other schools.
Each month, students are given school-wide character traits to observe and model. Homeroom teachers nominate students to be “Kids for Character.” These students consistently display the character trait of the month in their actions and are honored at the end of each month with a breakfast celebration for students and parents, during which a speaker comes to speak to the group on good character. Students are given certificates and goody bags to honor them.
Skyview also holds special “Celebration Ceremonies” at the end of each grading period to honor students in every grade for their achievements and efforts that grading period.
In addition to the many special clubs and learning opportunities, Principal Vickers feels that Skyview is unique because of the close-knit community of Lizella. This community, she says, is extremely involved and takes an active part in the education of their children.
“The term ‘family’ is tossed around many times,” Mrs. Vickers explains, “but Skyview is truly a family of all stakeholders.”
As a “National School of Character,” Skyview is built upon four principles: climate, curriculum, community, and character. Mrs. Vickers strives to build upon these principles by providing a safe, structured climate and learning environment, a rigorous and challenging curriculum, and a strong partnership between the home and school. Skyview teachers and administrators are also committed to demonstrating the same good character traits the students are taught daily to exemplify.#
5700 Fulton Mill Road
Lizella, GA 31052