SMG uses House System to teach life skills

Susan EspirituEast Knox

As a former Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy principal, one of my favorite memories is the students’ embrace of motivational systems that recognize their achievements and relational improvements.

SMG Magnet Academy is in its second year of a school-wide structure incorporated across many schools around the world called the House System. It divides the students and sometimes the staff into smaller groups called houses. Each house is named after a specific figure, landmark or value.

SMG named their six houses from the key words in their vision statement which changed with the new magnet theme. Robin Curry, principal, says, “We changed our theme to align our vision with the goals that Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy had for the students in this community.”

The vision: “All Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy stakeholders will be a community of empathetic leaders and lifelong learners who are culturally aware and will connect across the globe by celebrating a multi-story worldview.”

The name of their six houses: Lifelong Learners, Connection, Community, Empathy, Cultural Awareness, Empowerment.

Each Wednesday the whole school has a House Hype meeting where they celebrate all of the houses, learn about the values that each house represents, celebrate classes with the best attendance each week, and pour positive affirmations into the students.

On the early release Wednesdays which occur once a month, there is a guest speaker. Last week, Nathan Waddell from the Office of School Culture spoke to the students. Today, Mayor Glenn Jacobs is the guest speaker and will speak on leadership.

Each month a house winner is determined from the highest number of points based on certain school-wide parameters, earning a reward and the privilege to have a house parade around the school.

The House System encourages teamwork, leadership, and a sense of pride in one’s house and emulates a model for collaboration for future lifelong endeavors.

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