• 77°

MHS updates house program

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Maplesville High School celebrated the return of the house system on Aug. 22 with a special assembly.

Students in third through sixth grades were divided into four houses following the model of the Ron Clark Academy in Georgia.

MHS coordinator Brittney Yeargan said last year the Academy did not have resources available in time for the school to implement the full program. Instead, the staff created their own house names and established a system for good behavior similar to Clark’s model.

This year, resources for the school are available, and they will be using the Ron Clark Academy specific houses and software. The houses are Altruismo: Givers, Amistad: Friendship,
Isibindi: Courage and Rêveur: Dreamers.

“Students will be able to earn points based off of behavior … the A-B honor roll, classroom assignments, even down to maybe the first kid who clapped for someone when they did something well,” Yeargan said.

There will also be house competitions as there were last year. Parents also have the option to sign up for text alerts when their child receives a point.

“That is one of my favorite features about this new software,” Yeargan said.

Prior to the Aug. 22 reveal to the students of which house they would be in, teachers selected the house that they would like to lead. As the school year goes on, a sixth-grade student in each house will be selected as the house leader.

“With anything new you may have room for improvement or changes that you want to make that is what we decided to do this year,” Yeargan said.

While the kindergarten through second grade students were included as Tiny Houses paired with a larger house of the same color last year, this year the lower grades will have a separate program.

Yeargan said this plan was adopted because of how the classrooms in the school have been rearranged this year, and it will allow each program to focus on what is best suited for the age group. Third through sixth are now in a separate building from kindergarten through second grade.

“What we want to do in the lower grades … is we really want to push Ron Clark’s Essential 55,” Yeargan said.

These concepts focus on becoming a better person, having good character and being a leader.

Yeargan said this will create a foundation to build on when the students get to third grade.

“Having a house system … definitely creates a positive climate and culture,” Yeargan said. “We want to be able to build character. We want the kids to be able to build relationships.”

Since the four houses are a mix of the three grades, students will interact with other students they may not otherwise have met.

Another change to the program this year is that the student with the most points will be displayed on the hallway monitor, not just the house with the most points.

“I feel like that is something that will help the kids work hard to earn more points,” Yeargan said.