Can competition and camaraderie coexist?
They do in Highlands Latin School’s house system.
In keeping with our mission statement, it is our desire to provide support and encouragement among our students in their pursuit of academic excellence and to develop opportunities for service and leadership within our school. One vehicle used at HLS to accomplish this goal with our Upper School students is the HLS house system.
Origins & Description of the House System
The house system finds its origins in the British boarding schools and those modeled after them, where students actually ate, drank and slept in individual houses during the school term. Both competition and camaraderie existed among members of the houses as well as many memorable traditions that enhanced the school environment.
Some of the many benefits students derive from the house system are leadership opportunities, teamwork, service projects, friendly intramural sports competition and peer accountability for academic excellence.
House System at Highlands Latin School
On Thursdays the Houses gather to compete for a 30 minute tournament style activity or participate in a house meeting to plan a service project or meet to discuss an academic or school related topic.
Two faculty are assigned to supervise and guide each house. Students learn how to conduct a meeting according to the Roberts Rules of Order and have the opportunity to participate in planning and implementing one service project for their house. The house meeting time will also be an opportunity to discuss and encourage students in management of their study schedule and grades.
Three offices of house leadership are appointed by the HLS administration. Each house office will be held to unique responsibilities by the faculty supervisors:
The Head of House is chosen by the faculty based on the level of maturity and responsibility each has displayed. He or she presides at House meetings and reports directly to the faculty.
The House Tenant presides at the meetings and exists as the “right hand man” to the Head of House.
The House Scribe is the guardian of clear communication between the House Leadership and the House Membership, other houses and the HLS student body.
Competition in the House System
The feature of houses most popular with students is the competitions. The purpose of the house system at Highlands is to provide an outlet for a healthy level of competition and camaraderie among students.
At Highlands Latin School, House points will be awarded based on the following four categories:
- Academics: GPA, class attendance and preparedness award
- Athletic Competitions: Club Sports – volleyball, ultimate frisbee, soccer ball, etc.
- Community Service: House member participation in service projects
- Spirit Award: Participating in school events and community with a kind and helpful attitude.House points will accumulate throughout the year and be totaled for a final winner at the end of the school year.