In 2009, Sacred Heart Academy launched the House System for the purpose of enhancing our spiritual community, living virtuously, and developing a stronger bond among students across the grades. Presently, there are ten houses with approximately twenty students in each House. Houses are named after saints. Houses are integrated to include students in all grades. Families are kept together. Houses meet twice monthly. Each House has a charitable outreach in which they raise money for or collect needed items to help support the charity. A new theme is selected each year. This year the theme is Faith for the Future.
In House meetings, teachers, aides, administrative staff and the clinic aide act as mentors. Students from the upper grades are named house captains, co-captains and scribes. These individuals are encouraged to lead meetings. It is expected that mentors and student leaders will model core values and influence the character of students with whom they come in contact. Houses meet twice monthly during religion class to promote virtuous behaviors, unity, charitable giving, patriotism, social justice, and devotion to God’s plan for each of us.
Each House has learned significant facts about its saint, chosen a motto and colors, and designed a flag. Through the House system students have supported one another’s charitable giving programs, practiced good manners, discussed how to recognize and eliminate bullying, participated in role playing to help them learn to handle difficult situations, examined ways to take care of our environment, practiced good nutrition, and won points that have allowed them special privileges. At the end of the first year each House put together a memory book which has been passed on and added to with each consecutive year. As long as a student is at Sacred Heart he will remain with the same House.
Throughout the year, House mentors encourage positive behaviors by awarding points to students who are caught doing the right thing. Points are given for good manners, showing respect, being extra helpful, selfless, generous, or kind to another student or adult.
Each House meeting begins with prayer. Students learn who has been awarded points and what they did to receive those points for their House. Each House strives to collect sufficient points to reach bronze, then silver and gold status each year. Special rewards may be given to Houses that reach these goals.
Through our House charitable giving programs, including a monthly dress-down day in which students pay one dollar to wear jeans, we raised over $2,000 in cash to distribute to charities last year. In addition, we held food, clothing, diaper, and gift basket drives for the needy in our community. The faculty and staff of Sacred Heart Academy consider the House program an effective way of bringing the student body together, addressing issues of common concern, and helping students become more aware and compassionate toward the needy in our world.