A NEW tribe of WARRIORS is headed to Upson County! - Skipstone Academy of Griffin to establish a second campus at Westwood Christian Academy.
Following two months of discussions, a lot of prayer, and unanimous support from the Boards of Directors from both schools, Skipstone Academy, a thriving non-traditional Christian school in Griffin, will add the Warriors of Westwood Christian Academy to their own tribe of Warriors at Skipstone this Fall. Together they will establish new territory at 96 Pickard Road in Thomaston and will open in August as Skipstone Academy - Westwood Campus.
The new effort brings the exceptional success of Skipstone’s unconventional model of an innovative, hands-on, experiential approach to education to the Westwood Campus, which has served students in the five county area since 1971.
When asked what makes Skipstone so much different than any other school, Co-Founder Chip Moody says “My wife, Shondi, had this crazy dream that we could be a part of creating a place to learn that didn’t involve sitting in a desk all day, that we could help create an environment where kids could be creative, and use their imagination, instead of immersing themselves in busy work all day. She was determined to make Skipstone a place where learning could be FUN, a place where kids would WANT to go to school every day.”
As it turns out, that crazy dream would become a reality in a way no one could have expected! In September of 2007, Chick-fil-a founder Truett Cathy, who had heard about this vision for a different kind of school, surprised the Moody’s with an unannounced visit and asked about Skipstone. A week later Mr. and Mrs Cathy followed up that surprise visit with an unsolicited gift for the purchase of the former Flint River Baptist Camp, a beautiful 64 acre campus with 13 buildings, a small lake, and a swimming pool, which was the perfect environment for a non-traditional school like Skipstone.
Skipstone Academy started that first school year with 32 students in 5th through 11th grades and went to work developing a school and ministry that was like no other school in the area. They also went to work renovating the 50 year old facilities of the camp, which were mostly concrete block structures in poor condition.
When their unconventional approach started producing unprecedented results, the community quickly took notice and Skipstone experienced exponential growth, expanding to serve 152 kindergarten through 12th grade students in their second year. Now in its 11th school year, Skipstone has continued to experience growth each year and presently serves almost 400 students, with waiting lists for nearly every class.
This next adventure for Skipstone in Thomaston also started unexpectedly. Mark Davis, the current Headmaster at Westwood Christian Academy, had a providential visit with Chip Moody, Co-Founder of Skipstone on January 29th when the two schools met at Mt. View Baptist Church for a middle school basketball game. What began as a simple conversation of encouragement, brought to light an unexpected opportunity for Skipstone and Westwood to begin a conversation about the future.
“I was just making small talk with the guy running the clock at the game that day”, said Moody, “then I realized that he was the Headmaster of Westwood, so we talked a little about where they were and some of the challenges they were facing. I didn’t leave the game that night with anything like this in mind, but God started opening up doors for us to have a bigger conversation and here we are. Skipstone has been a “God authored” story from the very beginning and this is just the NEXT CHAPTER. We aren’t in the business of writing our story, that’s God’s part.”
The transition from Westwood to Skipstone will begin immediately as Skipstone will be opening an office on the campus of Westwood on Monday, April 16th. For those interested in learning more about Skipstone Academy and enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year, a “SCOOP on SKIPSTONE” meeting for the whole community is scheduled for April 23rd at 6:30pm in the gym at Westwood.
Current Westwood students will see a slight decrease in tuition & fees with Skipstone’s tuition set at $4950 for elementary, $5050 for middle school, and $5150 for high school and $500 in total fees for the 2018-2019 school year. Fees for new students total $550.
Skipstone will also offer a full range of competitive sports for middle and high school students in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association, where the Warriors have recently brought home State Championships in varsity football, varsity girls basketball, and middle school track & field, along with a host of region titles in several other sports.
“We couldn’t be any more excited than to be a part of the story God has been writing at Westwood for so many years” said Moody, “And now here’s this crazy new chapter, where the plot thickens and the story takes an unexpected turn. That’s the stuff that stories really worth reading are made of! We trust the next chapter, because we know the author!”
Major renovations of the Westwood Campus are planned, with many improvements scheduled to be completed this summer in time for the grand opening in August of 2018.