School Spotlight: Arts in focus at FAIR School Crystal
About 400 students from 12 communities attend fourth-through-eighth grade at the FAIR School Crystal. The school focuses on arts integration, and you can see that reflected in every classroom on campus.
“FAIR School Crystal is an art institution,” says principal Zoraba Ross. “We integrate art in all our content areas and we offer several art classes. When you come here, you are going to see art infused in everything.”
Administrators and staff like Ross see students shine when they find the art that fits.
“We may have a kid or two get into trouble, but when they get on stage, they are a totally different kid,” explains Ross. “That makes my job even more exciting. I know what’s coming.”
Ross says there’s beauty in watching how a student can grow when motivated.
Artist in Residence
Every grade level has the opportunity to learn from an artist who spends time with the students.
Julie Boada is a native american visual artist with a background in puppetry. She’s working with students on an art-infused social studies lesson about indigenous resistance. After the students create a variety of puppets, they will have a performance where there’s a role for everyone.
“Sometimes visual artists don’t feel comfortable being on stage,” explains Boada. “Some kids shine as actors.”
Exposure to the Arts
Instead of just general music or arts classes, students are exposed to a variety of arts.
“I think it’s a blessing for all of these kids to participate,” says Kim Keaton, choir teacher. “They may not love each and every one of those arts classes, but they get exposed to it and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Exposure happens in classes you’d least expect too.
Take Algebra for example. Students take a break during classwork to sing a song about an equation.
In Spanish class, students are painting emojis to learn vocabulary words about emotion.
“It really adds to that visual piece,” explains Sylvia Suares, Spanish teacher. “It’s not just memorizing lists or things like that. They are able to feel what they are learning and create something.”
The focus at FAIR Crystal isn’t about creating a beautiful finished product or turning students into art masters. Instead, it’s a way for students to love to learn.