Our Middle School students were in for some surprises when they returned to campus in August. First, they experienced Ignite, a two-day conference whose aim was to get them excited about the academic year and to encourage growth in their walk with God. That was followed by the eagerly anticipated launch of the LCA House System, an initiative distinctive to Legacy’s Middle School.
The house system has been a work in progress for a while. The Middle School team learned about the concept several years ago, when a group of teachers heard about it at a conference. Then Lana Snear, our Middle School guidance counselor, met with students who had experienced the system firsthand and was impressed by the impact that it had on their lives. The students told her they were able to relate to one another in new ways and also gained valuable leadership skills.
After the isolation and challenges brought on by the pandemic, students needed to be connected more than ever before, so the race was on to get this system up and running as soon as possible. A committee of eight Middle School teachers and staff became the driving force.
Devising the house system was no small feat. The committee began by determining the ideal number of houses, their names, and, most importantly, how it could instill connection, value, and purpose among the Middle School student body as a whole. The team collaborated to design and implement a point system that would embolden students to participate with a goal in mind: the coveted House Cup. House points are everywhere to be had, from heated athletic competitions like dodgeball, to showing spirit at pep rallies and from demonstrating a heart of service, to excelling in the classroom, as well as good old-fashioned participation in the form of showing up at a school event in your house shirt.
The next big task: house sorting. The team knew they needed to find a way to configure all of the grades and to make the unveiling exhilarating. And what better place for some excitement than the football field?
As they headed outside, each student received a sealed envelope — and was told not to open it — inside of which was a colored paper that held their designated house. Gathered together in their respective houses, faculty and staff teams charged out as each house was introduced. Faculty proudly sported their brightly colored house T-shirts; some took their house pride to new heights with face paint and nifty accessories.
Led by a flag bearer, the house teams positioned themselves at each of the four corners of the field, and once the students were given the all-clear to open their envelopes, papers went flying and students started running to their new houses.
Students were given their new house T-shirts and the fun was under way!
Their first task was to come up with a house chant — a battle cry to unify and motivate the new members. It was fascinating to watch the new teams in action as leaders emerged even from the seemingly most timid of students. They were already beginning to recognize their value as individual members of a unified team.
Although the house system is still in its infancy, Dr. Snear is already encouraged by its success. “The connectedness between and among the houses is palpable. There’s a change in the feeling of the Middle School,” she says. “I see students reaching outside of their bubble and there’s a sense of belonging that I’ve never seen before.” The house system is stretching both students and teachers to interact in brand-new ways.
The teachers realize the potential of house points to motivate students to achieve and push themselves outside of their comfort zones. All teachers have in their classroom a jar for each house, so that they can award house points as they’re earned, which is another great incentive for students. “It’s been interesting to see the competitiveness develop among the teachers,” Dr. Snear says. “These teachers are seriously competitive.”
Legacy Christian Academy is Frisco's preeminent Pre-K through 12 Christian school committed to educating students in a college preparatory environment balanced in academics, athletics, and fine arts–all within the context of a biblical worldview. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.