Lake Elementary enters phase three of ‘school flip’

By DUSTIN WHITLOCK,

Lake Elementary has been undergoing a remodel over the last two years with the addition of airbrushed art to the walls of classes, doors, bathrooms, halls, and in some areas outside. Themes include fairy tales in 2nd grade, the great outdoors in 1st grade, and the feature film ‘Up’ in kindergarten.

Phase one of the renovation began in summer 2015, phase two continued in summer 2016, and a third phase will begin in July.
Elementary principal, Lisa Seale said, “We’re trying to do a ‘school flip’ to change the learning atmosphere.” The art encourages the imaginations of students and breaks the traditional, industrial energy of schools. It gives each hall and each room personality and warmth.
“Several members of staff attended an educational training and professional development session at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta,” Seale said.
The Ron Clark Academy as well featured airbrush art. Seale said, “I saw how the atmosphere affected and enhanced learning and engagement.” 
Seale said that Sebastopol, Lake Middle, and Morton Elementary schools have begun art installations as well after seeing Lake Elementary’s renovations.
Two Meridian artists were chosen, a husband and wife duo, Roger and Skylar Scarbrough. Skylar did most of the outlining and flats free-handed while Roger followed with shading and highlights.
Seale said, “Teachers are investing in their classrooms and their students with their own resources.” Kayla Myers, 1st grade teacher, brought in picnic tables that were built by her husband, Stephen, replacing the traditional style classroom tables.
Teachers painted ceiling tiles in some rooms themselves, to extend the motifs, and after the painting was completed, the teachers applied a clear coat to the art, giving it a gloss finish which makes the colors bold and will extend the life of the art for years.
Seale said, “The students are proud of their school and they are aware it is unique.”
During the mornings, when students are arriving to school, music is played. This was another aspect borrowed from the Ron Clark Academy.
“I want their (students’) experience here to be one that they never forget,” Seale said.

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