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House System

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 students, and some may feel out of place or like they don’t know where they fit in. But when they spin the wheel and 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 RCA, good behavior and academic success are revered among students because they all 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 crossage group approach to building a community that will strengthen 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 this mentoring 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 student perceives points over time: what may start as extrinsic motivation in the beginning turns into intrinsic motivation as the student realizes the behavioral and academic traits and ethics that are valued by their peers.

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