Monday, March 2, 2020

The "House" System Comes to IWCS

The house system is a culture-building program our teachers and administrators witnessed on their visit to the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta.  If you're a Harry Potter fan, it's similar to the system used at Hogwarts where students are sorted into houses such as Gryffindor and Slytherin.  Four of our schools launched a house system this year with some of their grade levels--Hardy, Westside, Smithfield Middle, and Georgie Tyler Middle.  Each school held a House Selection event where students found out their house name.  At SMS, students spun a big wheel, almost like a carnival game, to determine their house. Georgie Tyler students received balloons, held them over their head, and popped the balloon to reveal confetti, the same color as their new house.
There are certain characteristics to each house--they have a unique name and motto, along with a distinct color.  The houses compete for points through weekly and monthly challenges and winning houses receive different rewards--extra time at recess for elementary, or school "bucks" that they can redeem for spirit wear or accessories.  The houses create a group where every student belongs and is part of something.
The best way to understand the benefit of the house system is to hear from the students and staff who are participating in the program.  Check out this high energy video that perfectly captures the excitement generated as part of the house process.