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Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy rolls out red carpet for incoming 5th graders

Ron Clark Academy students perform at an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority youth summit in 2015.
Ron Clark Academy students perform at an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority youth summit in 2015.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

A video showing incoming 5th graders at Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy doing the Milly Rock down a red carpet has set social media on fire.

About 300,000 people have seen the 45-second video on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Founder Ron Clark said the red carpet welcome has been a fixture at the school for nearly a decade.

“We believe in starting things big and ending things big!” Clark said by phone. “Our school is academically a beast, so we surround the students with love, passion and energy to help them get through.”

It’s no secret that the school was built to educate students in an environment where conventional practices were thrown out the window. Clark came to Atlanta after a whirlwind of media exposure -- from being named a Disney American Teacher and writing a book on his teaching methods that was backed by Oprah Winfrey -- to build his dream school, where educators did whatever was necessary to reach their students.

Clark said Monday that more than 12,000 teachers from across the world have been in his school at 228 Margaret Street SE in Atlanta this school year to be trained in the methods that are working for his students.

It still generates a buzz when a teacher does something out of the ordinary to reach students. Last month, Rockdale County teacher David Yancey's take on the Migos hit "Bad and Boujee," which he used to teach about the Civil War, went viral as well.