CIS kicks off new year of house system

Published 2:13 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Clanton Intermediate School celebrated the return of the house system with a ceremony on Aug. 29 to divide the third-grade students and any new students in grades fourth and fifth into a house.

Program coordinator Lisa Brown said each of these students went on stage to unwrap their T-shirt that would reveal which house they would be joining.

She said those already in houses cheered as they waited for the shirts to be unwrapped.

“It’s really competitive and really exciting,” Brown said. “The kids loved it.”

This house will be the students team for their entire time at Clanton.

The program is an adaptation of a module used at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. However, CIS has six houses instead of four.

The houses include Altruismo (Portuguese for giver), Amistad (Spanish for friendship), Isibindi (Zulu for courage), Onesta (Italian for honesty), Reveur (French for dreamer) and Uzwela (Swahili for compassion).

Those already in houses came to the assembly in their shirts led by their banner.

Brown said there are some changes to the program for this year. Each house has a crest this year, in addition to its signature color and T-shirt. Brown said each crest includes images with special meaning to that particular house. These symbols will be explained during the first house meeting on Sept. 27.

Teachers now have the option to use a School Dojo app dedicated to keeping points for each house.

Each staff member is also a member of the house system.

“The staff members chose their houses based on what best represented them,” Brown said. “The kids are randomly selected.”

During house meetings, members of each house will meet at different locations on campus.

“We are going to have a focus for each house meeting, like this first one will be talking about what our house symbols mean that they can find on the crest, plus we are going to talk about our first two expectations, which are eye contact and respecting people and property,” Brown said.

Brown said two expectations will be focused on during each house meeting. Meeting these expectations is how students earn points for their houses.

Each house also has a flag that will be flown on the school’s flag pole, if their team has the most points for the week.

“Then we have a yearly house winner — house champion we call them,” Brown said.

The grand champion last year was Reveur: House of Dreamers.

Brown said she has seen the program make an impact for the returning students.

“One of the most notable things I noticed on the first day of class is I didn’t have to tell them to speak me to greet me … they just know you should greet someone when you see them,” Brown said.

She said students have also made eye contact when speaking to her.

“That might not sound like much, but that’s a big deal for an 8, 9 or 10 year old to do,” Brown said.