Here at Limestone Walters, we strive to create an environment that is positive and rewarding for all students. The House System is an idea adopted from Ron Clark Academy to give students the opportunity to connect with other students that they may not normally have a chance to interact with. This helps students gain more friendships and create a family-like culture at our school.
WHY THE HOUSE SYSTEM?
- CULTURE OF BELONGING
- Houses provide students with a culture of belonging. The first day of school can be a stressful moment for young or new students, and some may feel out of place or like they don't know where they fit in. But when they spin the wheel are sorted into their Houses, they are greeted with the roar of applause and cheers from other students - upper-classmates even - welcoming them into this new, special group. Throughout the year, each student's personal accomplishments are then rewarded with points that collectively count toward 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. At other schools, achievement is sometimes seen as something that is "nerdy" or "uncool" - but at LW, good behavior and academic success are revered among students because they are know that students' success helps their own House get closer and closer to winning the championship.
- And that culture of belonging goes beyond just the students! Parents are encouraged to become a part of their child's House too. This helps them build bonds with other parents, including parents of upper-classmates, who they can reach out to for advice and wisdom. The House gives them the instant community of a slightly smaller group as an introduction to the whole school, thereby helping them to understand and feel like a part of it.
- SCHOOL-WIDE COMMUNITY
- The House System is a unique and creative cross-age group approach to building a community that will strength the social and academic lives of students. Traditionally, schools are split up into grades and students never interact with older or younger peers. In a House, students are able to interact with peers from other grade levels. With this, the older students become support systems to younger ones who are struggling or need advice - and they in turn grow as leaders themselves when they are able to pour into the younger ones in this way.
- And the mentioning community extends to the teachers and staff as well. Every adult in the school should be encouraged to participate in the House System because it instantly gives them an opportunity to form strong bonds with a smaller group of students in their House. Additionally, it enables a playful sense of competition with students of other Houses. This type of role modeling and mentorship, provided on a consistent basis to students as they go through each grade of the school, can be exponentially valuable to their growth!
- CHARACTER BUILDING
- The House System builds character with a reward system that goes beyond something like earning a piece of candy from a candy jar for doing something good. Instead, each student's achievements add to a collective group, making the reward communal and social. We have seen this change the way that a students perceives points over time: what may start as extrinsic motivation in the beginning turns into intrinsic motivation as the student realize the behavioral and academic traits and ethics that are valued by their peers. Not to mention that giving points is FREE!
- HEALTHY COMPETITION
- It's important for the House System to promote 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.
- The key to promote a culture of constructive competition - The staff's involvement is so important to this! They can model a playful competitive spirit that celebrates wins, learns from mistakes, and accepts loss gracefully. Through this, students can learn that the most important part of it all is just their own dedication and participation.
THE FOUR HOUSES
HOUSE SYSTEM IN A NUTSHELL