Middle school implements a house system

On the first day of class for middle school, students were divided into houses intended to increase the camaraderie among the grade levels and to enhance a sense of belonging for our students. 
“Even during the house sorting activity, there were already students from every grade level working together to solve the house puzzles at the end of the sorting challenge,” beams Joseph Antonio, middle school principal.  
Beginning last year, a team of about 10 teachers decided to implement the house system at Wesleyan. After deciding to move forward with the houses, they started the naming process by thinking of the core values they wanted to emphasize through the houses. Once the core values were nailed down, they paired them together and looked at the original Hebrew words that conveyed these values. The houses are as follows: 
  • Zedak (core values: justice and compassion) - The name is shortened from “Tzedakah,” which means “doing the right thing by demonstrating ‘tzedek’ (justice, fairness) in your life.” 
  • Amatz (core values:  courage and resilience) - The name is a direct translation for courage.
  • Katov (core values: humility and gratitude) - This word is shortened from phrase "hakarah hatov," which is the Hebrew term for gratitude and literally translates to "recognizing the good". It reflects having an attitude of gratitude, not just giving thanks but recognizing the blessings in our lives, especially through tumultuous times.
  • Hokmah (core values: wisdom and integrity) - “Chokmah” means “wisdom” and comes from the verb “chakam,” meaning “to be wise”). This is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the ability to see something from God’s viewpoint. 
Students will attend designated house days on the last Friday of the month where they will engage in competitions and show spirit by wearing their house shirts and wristbands. 

“It’s awesome because we aren’t taking away from class time on those days. We are simply adjusting the schedule and moving flex time to the end of the day. It’s a great way to increase engagement and spirit,” explains Antonio. 

Thank you, middle school students, for engaging in and getting excited about the new house system!