This school year our entire school will use a "House System." A House System has shown to have a positive impact on the educational experience. Children have noted such things as how it has helped them to form friendships and create closer bonds with their peers. We are looking forward to watching each student earn points for good behavior, effort, character, performance and school spirit. We love to cheer each other on and the House System helps everyone become part of a team. It takes everyone to make the team successful.
Here are some positive highlights from using the house system:
1. Throughout the year, each student's personal accomplishments are rewarded with points that collectively count toward his or her own point total for the year, but also for his/her House. This gives students an opportunity to be recognized and thanked by their peers daily for their individual contributions to the overall team.
2. The House System builds character with a reward system that goes beyond something like earning a piece of candy for doing something good. Instead, each student's achievements add to a collective group effort. We have seen this change the way that a student perceives points over time.
3. The House System promotes a sense of healthy competition. This encourages students to learn how to be team players, contribute their efforts toward a group, and learn that those who work hard and stick with it are often the ones rewarded. Through this, students can learn that the most important part of it all is their own dedication and participation.
The House of Givers
Symbolic Animal: The Snake
Altruismo traces its origins to the rainforests of the Amazon, where a group of powerful Brazilians were given the name because of the Portuguese meaning behind it: "the Givers."
This special group is known for striking a balance between bold strength and altruistic giving-a team that knows that real power comes not from looking out for yourself but from empowering others. They care deeply about lifting others up, but they also maintain a fiercely competitive spirit and pride. Historically, the House has been known for its smart and driven students, and Altruismo has produced more valedictorians per class to this day. Its members have been very involved in every club, committee, or activity that a school offers. Therefore, Altruismo takes great pride in being a cultivator of real leadership and instills a strong spirit withiin new members to grow into and live up to this legacy.
The House of the Friendship
Symbolic Animal: The Immortal Peacock
Amistad is the House that originates from Spain. A group of individuals that are quiet but powerful, they are known most for their kindness of heart. This is why, in the lanuage of their ancestry, their name means "friendship."
Incoming members are often a mix of extremes-our students can be extremely intelligent, creative, friendly, and competitive; Amistad is a very diverse group! The House takes great inspiration from its symbolic animal, the peacock, and the leaders always remind the members of this saying: "Once the peacock finds its feathers, it discovers who it really is." The encouragement is for each student to find his or her own feathers and discover their brilliance. While students may enter timidly, they learn to become brave as they find their true selves.
The House of Courage
Heritage: South Africa
Symbolic Animal: The Mute Swan and the Lion
Isibindi is a tight-knit group of individuals, like a pride of African lions, where family means everything. The House's symbolic animals, the mute swan and the lion, serve to empower incoming members. While new students might be quiet or shy at first, the longer that they are in the House, the more they begin to display the characteristics of strength and bravery. In Zulu, Isibindi means "courage."
The dichotomy of sharing symbolic animals between the gentle and beautiful swan and the proud and courageous lion is what makes Isibindi so unique. It is a House that inherits the legend and influence of both Shaka Zulu as well as Nelson Mandela. It is a House that knows when to be strategic and creative, or when to pull back and be reserved, but also when to go full force with power and strength. This is why Isibindi welcomes creative and quiet kids and turns them into leaders over time. They learn that, like the mute swan, their quiet creativity can be harnedded to speak vollumes in its own way.
The House of the Dreamers
Symbolic Animal: The Wolf
Reveur is a royal House whose name in French means "dreamers" or "idealists"-because the members who fill this group are student filled with freedom and wild adandon who recognize theri dreams and will let nothing stand in the way of achieving them. This can be seen in the unicorn, which is on he center of the House's crest, a powerful creature who is almost impossible to tame. Similarly, the House of Reveur is a House of passion.
Reveur is the natural rival of Altruismo, because in the early days of the House Championships, Altruismo beat Reveur by a single point, and they held a winning streak over them for three years. In 2011-2012 school year, the wheel did not sort very many students into Reveur, and so it became the smallest of the four Houses. But the staff House Leader, Ron Clark, rallied the students together and told them: "This year, because our House is smaller, we each have to be bigger. We each have to multiply ourselves this year!" And that was the year that Revuer, despite being the smallest House, went on to win its first championship. This legend is now passed down to remind students that the size of the House is not as important as the size of the hearts and efforts of its members.