The “Houses of MCSES” is a friendly, school-wide competition introduced by Associate Principal MacCormack.
The main purpose is to create a greater sense of community among students while reinforcing the importance of character and good attendance.
How it Works
Much like the Harry Potter series, PK-5 classes are sorted into six Houses (right) and students can earn House Points for various reasons.
There are approximately 150 students from different grade levels in each House.
“We want to build an even stronger elementary community,” said Mr. MacCormack. “Having multiple grade levels in the Houses will allow students to meet more kids in different grades each year.”
Since the Houses are based on class or teacher, students will likely change Houses from year to year based on the House with which their new teacher is associated. These changes also allow students to continue expanding their interactions with students in other classes and grade levels.
In addition to students, Houses also have 20-24 adults.
“Every single adult in the building is part of a House, including teacher aides, custodians and our School Resource Officer,” said Mr. MacCormack. “The only exceptions are me, Mr. Brenneman and Dr. Hernandez. We are the Headmasters.”
To further promote a sense of community, the Houses have their own mascots and banners:
- House Benevolentia (Caring) – Dragon
- House Aequum (Fairness) – Phoenix
- House Honestas (Respect) – Griffin
- House Responsus (Responsibility) – Gargoyle
- House Fidus (Trustworthiness) – Yeti
- House Civis (Citizenship) – Pegasus
The House banners were designed by Ms. Chalavoutis, an Art teacher at MCSES. She recruited fourth grade students to help cut and sew the banners during lunch and recess. The House banners will be displayed on stage during assemblies but generally they will be proudly displayed in the main lobby with the trophy (read more about the trophy below!).
As mentioned above, the Houses of MCSES operates on a points system.
All Houses will receive points each week but the amount of points awarded to each House will vary. Students can earn points for their Houses in many ways, including:
- Weekly Attendance – Total attendance for the House will be calculated and points will be awarded based on the percentage of the House that was in school that week with bonus points going to classes with perfect attendance (e.g., 100 points +50 bonus points for perfect attendance, 100 points for near perfect attendance/two or fewer absences, 90 points for 90% House attendance, etc.). Announcements each week will explain who had the best attendance and earned the most points.
- Hallway Compliments – Top Winner will get 100 pts.; 2nd – 90; 3rd – 80; 4th – 70, etc.
- Cafeteria Compliments (point rewards are similar to hallway compliments)
- Random Acts of Kindness – Points can be awarded to students who are “caught” helping or being kind to others; staff can also receive points for their Houses when given “shout outs” for going above and beyond.
- “House Days” – Once a month, the Houses will gather at an assembly to review the past month. On House Days, students and staff can earn additional points for various activities such as Minute-to-Win-It, loudest cheer, or quietest walk back to class.
- Being safe, responsible and respectful
Students can also win other things such as tickets to buy items at the school store or tickets to participate in PBIS events (e.g., cookie decorating party, extra recess, Turkey Trot).
Points are tracked by the Headmasters as well as faculty on the PBIS Committee.
House Points are tallied at the end of every month and the House with the most points wins the House Cup*!
The winning House will be able to keep the trophy for one month. They can decorate the trophy and bring it around school for the day, then the trophy will be kept in the main lobby to show the school which House was that month’s champion.
Most importantly, students are reminded that it starts with them! If they are at school, trying their best, continuing to earn hallway compliments, and more, they can help their House be the BEST!
*The House Cup trophy was custom made and donated to MCSES by Jon Davi from Quality Trophies. Thank you!
The “Houses of MCSES” is a friendly, school-wide competition introduced by Associate Principal MacCormack in early 2020. The main purpose is to create a greater sense of community among students while reinforcing the importance of character and good attendance.
“Our responses to student absences have been mostly reactive. When students are absent, we call parents, make house visits, and sometimes contact local agencies to address absenteeism,” said Mr. MacCormack. “I wanted to flip that and be proactive rather than reactive. The Houses idea was an opportunity to strengthen character education and improve student attendance through friendly competition. By bringing in a little bit of competition, our goal is to make kids want to be at school.”