The TVS House System
One of our overt initiatives this year includes the continued development of our students as leaders through systematic and intentional experiences and learning opportunities. These already happen every day, through a variety of traditional methods in arts, academics, and athletics, but we are pursuing even more opportunities.
Seeking to capitalize on these relationships as a catalyst for teaching leadership, we introduced THE HOUSE SYSTEM earlier this year. Based on the Old English/Australian boarding-school model, each student is placed in a House. Each of the 10 Houses is named after an important attribute such as Curiosity House, Integrity House, Loyalty House, Creativity House, and the like.
Within each House, every K-5 student is paired with an older buddy. In sixth grade, students remain with their older buddy (now in 12th grade), but together they are also buddies for a kindergarten student in anticipation of the sixth grader being the sole buddy for that younger student the following year.
One male and one female senior in each House were asked to serve as House Captains, and they responded with great enthusiasm. During our first House activity, our buddies were led through a series of fun activities intended for them to get to know one another and to become comfortable with their buddies and other House members before we headed to our Founders Day celebration. At the end of their time together, the connection was palpable. At a recent Middle School football game, it was inspiring to see a second grader run up to his sweaty eigth-grade buddy to congratulate him on the win.
In September, we hosted a competition among Houses to see which could collect the most money for hurricane relief. Thanks to the incredible efforts of the entire TVS community, we were able to raise $10,144.21. Creativity House led the way with $2,508.66 raised, followed by Fidelity House with $1,474.09 and Loyalty House with $1,419.59.
Prior to midterm exams, our Houses assembled care packages for our alumni who are in college. Each box was filled and decorated by our House buddies, and they wrote letters to our graduates wishing them well on their exams.