Howard Connect Academy Introduces House System
Posted on 01/04/2024
Howard Connect Academy Introduces House SystemChattanooga, Tennessee- Howard Connect Academy Introduces House System to Foster Connection and Positive Behavior

In effort to enhance student engagement and cultivate a stronger sense of community, Howard Connect Academy (HCA) has revamped its traditional Base Camp structure this school year, unveiling an innovative House System.

While Base Camps have been a previous feature at HCA, the school recognized the need for a more effective framework to maintain connections between students and camp counselors as they progress through different grade levels.

Principal Mardee Miller commented on the positive outcomes of the initiative, stating, "We have seen a decline in behavior issues. We have seen our discipline infractions drop, specifically, exclusionary discipline is down about 15%. Our kids are really responding to the House System and represent their Houses well. It’s been super fun to see the connections and build unity.”

Students are assigned to a House in 6th grade, progressing through the camps as they advance in grade levels. Each House is distinguished by a unique color, embodying core values such as Authenticity (Orange), Curiosity (Blue), Collaboration (Purple), Equity (Green), and Love and Joy (Yellow). The Houses actively participate in various activities, including meetings, pop-up House Parties, and mutual support during testing.

The House competition is fueled by Critter Coin, a digital currency system. Students wear House Color lanyards with QR codes for easy identification, enabling the school to reward House Points and individual "coins" for meeting expectations.

On the last day before winter break, each House participated in various competitions, contributing to their quarter's points for the Announcement of the Golden House Trophy Q2. These activities included gingerbread house building, a mixology competition for a unique hot chocolate recipe, snowball fights, and perfect attendance awards.

The Q2 winner was the Love and Joy House. Stacey Luvvers, instructional coach at HCA, helped lead Love and Joy throughout the year. She expressed, "I feel like the students are wanting to do the right thing, everything from wanting to be in dress code to get extra points to wanting to come with their laptop charged for benchmarks. Love and joy is one of our design principles, emphasizing the love, joy, and fun within the House System," she added.

The House System serves as an exemplary model of inclusion, allowing every student to feel a sense of belonging within their school. Opportunities like these empower students to represent their House and interact with peers across grades, highlighting the impact of their attendance and behavior on the entire House community.