St. Joseph’s Academy is pleased to announce the introduction of the House System among our students. What is the House System? It is a method of providing to the school children a sense of belonging within the academy. The house is the child’s family within the school, so to speak.
Children are assigned to a house in kindergarten, or upon arrival at the school. They remain in that house throughout their entire time at St. Joseph’s Academy. This enables the children to have a tremendous level of ownership for the accomplishments of their house and to take pride in their house as well. Just as children can have a great deal of school spirit, members of a given house should have “house spirit.”
This system also provides the children with a group of people who have a vested interest in their progress and who, therefore, form a support group to provide encouragement for the house members. The school children can certainly look to everyone in the school for support, yet the members of their own house are there to help them and be concerned for them in a very special way.
The House System offers children the opportunity to give of their talents, skills, and personal qualities. This helps the children develop a sense of charity and cooperation. It is very important that the children learn to identify and develop their individual talents. This enables them to use those talents for the benefit of others. Our Lord made it clear in the Gospels that He wants us to use the talents He gave us for His greater glory.
This system also offers the children the opportunity to develop leadership qualities. Each House has a faculty member who acts as the House Mentor, but each one also has one of the school children who acts as House Captain. It is the Captain’s job to assist in the proper running of his house by firstly setting a good example. The Captain’s kindness and good spirits often go a very long way in helping one or another of the children to avoid discouragement.
Many opportunities are offered for healthy competition. There are a variety of activities in which members of the different houses may compete. Although there are sporting activities, these are not the only sort offered. In addition to the more physical events there are also more intellectual competitions planned such as a chess tournament, intramural debates, story writing competitions, and a spelling bee.
Through these competitions the children have the opportunity to gain points for their houses. Good behavior and academic excellence, as well as participation in extracurricular and parish activities, can also earn points for one’s team. The accumulation of these points is focused towards the winning of the House Cup, awarded at the end of the year.
In addition, the House System offers parents and family members the opportunity to get involved at the school with their children in a more in-depth manner. Parents are encouraged to come to the activities and support their children. To this end, brothers and sisters are always on the same team. Parents with special skills are also welcome to assist the school by imparting their knowledge to the children.
Over the past centuries, the House System has been employed with great success in many schools. It is a great joy to see it provide the school children in our day with a high level of motivation to leave mediocrity behind and strive for the excellence God intended for them!
The Captains' Pledge:
- As House Captains of St. Joseph’s Academy who have accepted office for the academic year:
- We will endeavor to provide example, inspiration, leadership, guidance and care to all school children of St. Joseph’s Academy.
- We will endeavor to uphold the honor and traditions of the academy.
- We will endeavor to support the staff of the academy in maintaining a high level of discipline, teaching, learning, organization and care.
- We will endeavor without fail to uphold the principles of the holy Catholic Faith.