With mental health issues, stress and anxiety on the rise for students of all ages, schools are looking for new and creative ways to support their students by providing a more nurturing and connected school experience for all children. Ascension Lutheran School in Thousand Oaks implemented the House System this year with exactly that in mind. Creating a school community that is built on cooperation, teamwork, school pride and support for all students is integral to the success of the House System.
Simply explained, the “House System” is a means of dividing students into groups and thus creating smaller communities within the larger school community. Every student and staff member takes part to create a strong community of compassionate leaders and learners. Through this initiative, each student is sorted into a house. The houses are comprised of mixed-grade level students, teachers and staff members. Members stay in the same house for the duration of their time at Ascension Lutheran School. Students and staff work together throughout the year and beyond to build strong bonds and relationships that allow them to feel more connected at school. The ultimate goal is for students to feel that everyone in the school is united as one.
At Ascension, in accordance with our Christian values and traditions, the houses each represent a specific fruit of the spirit. Our four houses are Joy, Peace, Kindness and Faithfulness and they each work together to represent their specific quality with pride. Houses meet weekly throughout the year to participate in team-bonding activities, community service and collaborative special projects. Even more importantly, however, houses act as families within the larger school family. Students are encouraged to share personal victories and challenges as we support and pray for one another throughout students’ time at Ascension.
The House System also involves fun internal competitions. Students earn points for their houses by creating house cheers, wearing their house color and participating in schoolwide house events, such as scavenger hunts, capture the flag and assemblies with games and challenges. Points are a way to reinforce the positive behavior and community teamwork exhibited by our amazing students. At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins the House Cup and has the honor of exhibiting the cup at all of their meetings and competitions for the following year. This year the Peace House was the proud victor!
The House System celebrates strengths and encourages students to strive to be the best version of themselves within a supported and secure family environment. Pride in themselves and their house helps to foster a stronger overall school community with students, teachers and staff who know one another and have a means to support each other in a smaller community as well as within the larger school community. Ascension Lutheran School had a successful pilot year with the House System and plans to expand and grow this program with each passing year.
For more information on Ascension Lutheran School’s House System and the many other unique and engaging programs offered to its students, visit ALSchool.org or call 805.496.2419. Ascension accepts new students throughout the school year, space permitting.