Maplesville sorts it out on first day of school

Published 2:46 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Excitement reached a pinnacle at Maplesville High School on the first day of school as students’ kindergarten through sixth grade were sorted into houses.

The house system is inspired by the model at Ron Clark Academy in Georgia in which students are divided into teams to compete for points.

Teacher Brittany Yeargan said teachers had been working through the summer to be ready. Teachers and staff had been divided into houses prior to the ceremony on Aug. 9.

Kindergarten through third grade each have a house, but fourth through sixth grades were divided into four houses. The older grades’ houses will be paired with a younger house for mentoring opportunities.  Each house is named for a different virtue, such as love, joy, strength or courage.

“Wherever you are sorted, know true friends will find you there,” Yeargan said.

Each student received a bracelet with their house name on it amidst cheers by fellow house members.

“We expect you to wear these every day,” Yeargan said.

Each house has a house leader, color and flag.

“At Maplesville, one of the biggest things that we really want to push is for our students to be respectful and care for others,” Yeargan said.

The bracelets will help teachers know which house a student belongs to in order to award them points for “doing something kind for your teacher or your friend or maybe someone who is not your friend, maybe you saw a piece of trash on the playground and you picked it up … or maybe you helped someone who needed help opening the door, they didn’t ask you, but you just ran and did it for them.”

Yeargan emphasized that students could not ask for points for themselves or their house.

Points will be kept track of through an app.

Houses will have meetings every month. The house with the most points each month will have a party.

The first party will be an ice cream party.

“You are going to work with your team, you are going to work with your house,” Yeargan said. “You are all going to want to be on your best behavior.”

During the first week of school, students will focus on being respectful by saying, “Yes, ma’am,” “Yes, sir,” etc. and greeting teachers by name.

Other focuses for the house system include having a positive attitude, showing others they are appreciated and cared about and having fun.

“I think it is going to be a really great thing to improve behavior and citizenship of the students,” Principal John Howard said.

One project the houses will participate in is a donation drive for the Humane Society of Chilton County.

Students will also receive a free house T-shirt.

The Maplesville Town Council funded supplies for the program.