House system historically impacts students, faculty

By Tyler Parker

    The House System used by Christ Covenant was not created by us. In fact, this system can be traced all the way to England, where it is a staple in many of their boarding schools and colleges. In the English system, as soon as a student enrolls in school, they are placed in a House, which acts as a group for living, socializing, sports, and participating in other activities.

 

There can be any number of Houses in a school and any number of students in each of them.  Some schools like Christ Covenant have smaller Houses while other much larger schools may have Houses made up of hundreds of people.

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Winding Up
House of Paul member, or “Paulian,” and twelfth grader Bethany Lee, prepares for a powerful throw during the House dodgeball challenge.

The goal of House in England is to provide a competitive environment in which students can compete in a number of activities and get to know one another better. That purpose carries over to our school as well. The official purpose of the Christ Covenant House system is as follows:

 

“To create an atmosphere that fosters community among students and faculty, while encouraging peer accountability and personal development. The Houses will give students a means to create lasting social and real-life experiences with their peers.”

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Powerful Shot
House of David member and ninth grader Edward Stephenson balances on one foot after throwing a dodgeball.

In Christ Covenant, our four Houses—David, Moses, Abraham, and Paul—compete in several House events as well as smaller projects in order to earn points in an attempt to win a trip to Busch Gardens. Once every week, the Houses meet together to discuss strategies, projects, and other ideas to win points for their House.

 

In theory, this system encourages friendship and competition between grades while also providing a chance to get to know students you may not otherwise talk to.

 

“I believe the goal of the House system is to promote healthy competition and camaraderie among students. So much can be learned between grades,” upper school teacher and master of the House of Moses Joel Grimm said.

sagepainting(EDIT)
Paint It Red Twelfth grader Sage Pitman paints ninth grader Blythe Bacon’s face during a House of Paul meeting before the annual House dodgeball competition.

But even being tried and tested, House still has disadvantages in addition to the advantages. “I think House meetings could be improved by either not having them during lunch or making them optional because all we really do is sit around. But the events are really fun because we can go outside and play games like capture the flag,” ninth grader William Sutton said.

 

Director of House operations Will Chancellor commented on the intended improvements for the system in order to benefit students like Sutton. “I tried to create an environment where it didn’t matter what grade you are in,” Chancellor said. “What I’m trying to do is find new news to keep it fresh and get each of the Houses to make their experience individual to themselves.”

 

Whether you are an advocate of the House system or not, there is no denying that it has made an impact not only on Christ Covenant but also on schools worldwide.