Monday, May 21, 2018

"How Being Part of a 'House' Within a School Helps Students Gain A Sense of Belonging"

Sept. 30, 2016 was a big day for Lake Canyon Elementary. Students, teachers, and staff arrived at the Galt, California, school wearing white shirts and before long were sent to stand by one of six large cardboard boxes. After a drum roll, cannons sprayed confetti over each cluster of students. The color matched one of six new banners, like the orange one reading “Sebete” and featuring a bear meant to symbolize courage. As music played, the boxes were ripped open to reveal matching T-shirts. Pulling them over their heads, students began doing something they’d continue every day until graduating: representing their house. Three semesters later, Principal Judi Hayes said, “Every part of our school culture now flows through the lens of the house system.”

If the image calls to mind Harry Potter being assigned to Gryffindor, that’s not far off the mark.