Spotlight on Authentic Relationships: House System at Austin Elementary
Austin Elementary is creating a positive culture at the school through a House System that deepens relationships and fosters a friendly points rivalry through character building.
According to Principal Kristan Perryman, students are assigned houses of Amicitia (friendship), Somnium (dreamer), Quantum (respect) and Animo (courage) by random. Learners are then given a t-shirt with the color of their matching house. Houses consist of students and staff from across grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Houses earn points for positive behaviors and learn about different positive character traits such as honesty and kindness. Each House is a team that works together to collect points that are displayed on a bulletin board near the front of the school. Houses and points are also celebrated at school assemblies, with the current winner announced by the color of balloons revealed from a box.
“Our students and teachers have really blossomed with this program,” Perryman said. “We have been able to see relationships develop between learners of all ages, and collaborations with our teachers across grade levels who may not otherwise work together. It’s been a great experience to deepen relationships and heighten school spirit.”
Partly funded by the Austin PTO, this program is inspired by the Ron Clark Academy. The PTO helped Austin Elementary purchase an app to track points for the program. They also sent a group of educators to the Ron Clark Academy to see the House System in action in 2016 and in 2017.
“School spirit is so important, and this program helps us show what an amazing school Austin is and the character our students have,” Perryman said. “No matter which house eventually wins, I am so proud of all of our learners and the growth they have shown this school year.”