MHA “Houses” Build Community
Friday, August 24, 2018, kicked off the new “Houses” system at Mile High Academy. Intended to create community and a sense of fellowship within the school, each student was randomly inducted into their house with cheers, hugs, and decked out in their colors as a sign of their new tribe.
Each house represents values that MHA already incorporates every day into its teaching through CHERISH. With the house system, names, colors, values, all work together to unify students with their peers and teachers. For instance, the Red House is named Avodah and stands for honor and service in all things. The Green House is Veritas, its calling is integrity. The Black House is Asmund and it upholds the value of exploration. The Purple House is Leocor, with its strong name and pursuit of heroism. Each student is a part of a house with these strong values that they can internalize and uphold for themselves and their team. And overarching it all is CHERISH, incorporation all the values in one, Christ-centered, Honor, Exploration, Responsibility, Integrity, Service, Heroism.
Over the summer, faculty and staff met to go over plans for implementing the house system. Ideas for names, colors, how to engage students, were round tabled until everyone could agree on exactly how the system would work for MHA students. The faculty had specific goals for MHA students so it was important for everything to be planned perfectly.
From how students were introduced to their houses, confetti spilling from popped balloons, to Upper School students welcoming their Middle School team mates, each step was carefully orchestrated for maximum excitement. The cheers after each student was chosen into their house shook the gym. The school day ended with all houses playing games and eating cookies together.
For all of this to have its desired consequences, team work, growth, enrichment of school spirit, the buy in must be school wide. So, it’s not just students and teachers who are out there wearing their house colors, staff and administration all have houses to which they belong. And really, that’s what this is all about, belonging, because when a child knows they have a place where they can truly be themselves, truly belong, that becomes a safe place, a place they want to be. We want Mile High Academy to be that place for all our students.