Excellent Instruction + Parent Involvement = Distinguished Gators
County Vision: The district will equip students to compete in our global society as evidenced by ranking in the top 15% of districts in the State of Georgia.
County Mission: As a community of learners, in cooperation with stakeholders, our mission is: To provide rigorous and relevant instruction in a safe environment to enable students to obtain a high school diploma as a foundation for post-secondary success.
Introduction: Guyton Elementary School is an organization of concerned faculty, staff, and stakeholders who work together to provide a learning environment that teaches the whole child's emotional, social, physical, and academic well-being while challenging him/her to achieve to the best of their abilities.
Community Demographics: From 1956 until desegregation in 1970, Guyton's students were schooled at either Guyton Elementary or Effingham County Training School. The year 1970 brought the unification of Guyton's African-American and Caucasian students. All students in grades kindergarten, first, second and third were not schooled at Guyton Lower Elementary (formerly known as Guyton Elementary), and student in grades fourth, fifth and sixth were schooled at Guyton Upper Elementary (formerly known as Effingham County Training School).
In 1988, the unification of the Guyton Upper Campus and Guyton Elementary Lower Campus was accomplished with the construction of the current Guyton Elementary School (GES). Additional instructional areas were incorporated during 1999 and again in 2003 to complete the facility as it is today.
The current Guyton Elementary School (GES) was built in 1988 and is located in Guyton, GA, about 30 miles from the city of Savannah. According to the 2012 census, Guyton is a rural community with a population of approximately 1,696. The median age is 33, and the median household income is $38,735. The community's ethnicity is 62% white and 36% black. GES is one of the eight elementary schools in Effingham County. The county prides itself on its conservative, yet progressive values as we build on a tradition of excellence with a vision of the future.
Faculty Demographics: A dedicated and highly qualified staff serves the students at GES. The staff consists of 3 Administrators, 33 Regular Education teachers, 25 Paraprofessionals, 5 Encore teachers (2 P.E., 1 Music, 1 Computer/Media, and 1 Art), a Media Specialist, a Guidance Counselor, a School Psychologist, and a School Nurse. To meet the needs of GES' exceptional students, there are 3 Speech and Language Pathologists, an Interventionist, a Gifted and Talented teacher, 4 Reading Recovery teachers, a PSI teacher, and 11 Special Education teachers. Additional personnel includes: 4 office staff members, 9 lunchroom staff members, 5 Quality Cleaning employees, and a maintenance man. Among our 49 certified teachers (Regular ed., Special ed., and Encore), 26 (53%) have Master's degrees, 9 have Specialist's degrees, 2 have Doctoral degrees, and 2 National Board Certified teachers.
Parental Involvement and the involvement of our stakeholders is essential at GES. Parent volunteers are used for Spring Fling, Family Night, Art shows, Santa Shop, Book Fair, Dances, Gator Fun Club, Movie Nights, Economics Day, Career Day, and many more. Parents are kept informed of their child's progress through positive parent contacts at the beginning of the year, two annual parent-teacher conferences, and various forms of communication throughout the year. We have a Parent Resource Center in the Media Center. Our parent liaison works with agencies in the county to connect parents with support services.
Canady Schedule Model: GES has an incredibly progressive schedule modeling Dr. Canady's innovative techniques. The block schedule eliminates transition time and creates an extra 45-minute Intervention/Extension time within the school day. In addition, the schedule also works with the Encore teachers on a 10-day rotation, which allows homeroom teachers to receive an extended planning (1 hour and 30-min., as opposed to the daily 45-min. planning) once every 10 days. This unique schedule allows for maximum teaching time, built-in intervention and extension time, and time for teacher collaboration and analysis of data.
Gator Groups: Every classroom teacher (Kindergarten through 5th grade), Special Education teacher, and Reading Recovery teacher conducts a Gator Group in the mornings during homeroom time from 8:00-8:30. The groups focus on math, reading/ELA, or writing, and they are designed to accelerate or remediate learning and address the tiers of intervention. The students in the groups fluctuate depending on their changing needs and the reflection of data. Teachers keep attendance logs and a log of instructional objectives taught.
Reading Recovery: GES is proud to house the county Reading Recovery® training site, equipped with a one-way glass to observe and learn from one-on-one reading lessons. Reading Recovery® is an individualized program designed to improve the reading and writing achievement of first-grade students. This is a supplemental service for first graders in the lowest 20 percent of their class. The aim is to help the poorest readers make accelerated progress so that they catch up to their peers in reading and writing within 20 weeks. Each student is served for 30 minutes a day.
School-wide Incentives: It is important to the faculty and staff at Guyton Elementary to encourage students to excel in all areas of development including academics, social skills, and behavior. In one of the school-wide incentive programs, all students receive a necklace or bracelet and work to earn charms for a variety of tasks and behaviors. Students can receive charms for bully prevention training, reading levels, Accelerated Math, perfect attendance, honor roll, Caught Being Good, Glowing Gators, special projects, good effort, and many more. Teachers also can give additional charms in their classroom where they see fit. Students redeem their earned charms in the charm store for various prizes. This is a great visual school-wide incentive program that works well for all grade levels.
In addition, the Caught being Good program encourages students to make good choices throughout the school day. The GES staff can distribute tickets when observing students being good. Tickets accumulate weekly in classrooms, and their names are entered into a drawing. The drawings are held weekly, and students are rewarded for their good behavior. All other tickets are placed into an end of the year drawing for large prizes.
Finally, GES is governed by a set of positive G.A.T.O.R. rules: Give your best effort Arms, hands, and feet to yourself Treat others with kindness
Only talk at appropriate times Respect all people, places, and things Success will follow you
Data Notebooks: For the past three years, GES has implemented a more formalized approach to collecting and analyzing school-wide and student data. Data Notebooks continue to be a vital source of information for reflection, excellent teaching practices, and remediation. Although Data Notebooks differ according to subjects taught and student needs, administrators provide general checklists of data to be included in the notebook. Items may include pretests, unit test item analysis, differentiation planning, benchmarks, and formative assessments. Data is discussed among teachers in their weekly meetings, and with administrators during extended planning.
Mini-me's: GES conducts a mentoring program that incorporates community and leadership within the school. Interested fifth graders mentor pre-K, kindergarten, and first-grade students from 8:00 to 8:30 every morning. The mission of the program is to foster a positive school climate and learning through student connection. The mentors help with reading, writing, simple math, breakfast, or whatever else the teacher feels is necessary. The program came full circle in 2013-2014 when former mentees became mentors. Approximately 25 fifth graders serve in 13 classrooms.
Student Interactive notebooks: Student interactive notebooks are utilized in most subject areas and in most grade levels. The student-driven notebooks give purpose to assignments, a clear picture of learning and growth, and a collection of artifacts in which to study or reflect. The interactive notebooks may contain flipbooks, notes, drawings, journal articles, foldables, reflections, charts, graphs, etc.
Relay for Life: Relay For Life is a life-changing, fun-filled overnight event to raise awareness and funds for research, advocacy, education, and patient services. Relay serves as a celebration for cancer survivors, a memorial for loved ones lost, and a community rally to fight cancer. At Guyton, we have a team known as the Guyton Gators. This team raises money and spreads awareness about cancer. If you would like to become a member please go to www.relayforlife.org/effinghamga.
Girls on the Run: Girls on the Run is a curriculum-based, after-school character development program designed for 3rd-5th-grade girls of all fitness levels. The 10-week curriculum attempts to help each girl find and stay true to her REAL self. This spring GES has two groups of 20 girls that meet twice a week with their trained, volunteer coaches to discuss important life lessons while playing fun running games. GOTR emphasizes independent thinking, making healthy choices, healthy group dynamics and problem-solving. The program stresses peer support and doing your best. The program finishes with the girls running or walking in a non-competitive 5K.
Programs for Exceptional Students: Another area of expertise at GES is the Special Education services that are offered to meet the unique needs of students. The Exceptional Children's Department consists of 9 teachers serving students with Intellectual Disability (mild, moderate, severe, profound), Emotional Behavior Disorder, Specific Learning Disability, Orthopedic Disability, Hearing Impairment, Deaf, Other Health Impairment, Visual Impairment, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Significant Developmental Delay. GES houses a SID/PID program that serves severe and profound students in grades K-5 for Guyton, Springfield, and Ebenezer Elementary. Other Special Education services include: ESOL, IEP, Speech, Gifted Education, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Special Transportation.
Support Services: Support services include: Response to Intervention, EIP, Mini-me, CIM groups, Speech, IEP, 504, Reading Recovery, Why Try, Check in/Check out, mentors, math club, and chorus.
Economics Day: GES hosts Economics Day on the last day of school each year for 4th and 5th graders. Economics Day is a way for teachers to provide incentives for good student behavior and academic success. This event also helps us emphasize how the economy works. Students will have the opportunity to earn "money" as a reward for completed work, positive effort, and good attitudes from CRCT until the end of the school year. In turn, they will get to visit the different "stores" and activities (hair and nail salon, dance studio, photography studio, ride in a limo, toy store, or bakery) hosted throughout the school to spend their earnings.