Ottway House System
Earlier this year, the leadership team at Ottway Elementary School began looking for ways to encourage positive behavior and academic success at our school. Several members of the team visited the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia looking for ideas and programs to implement that would encourage students to have a sense of pride and ownership here at Ottway - as well as give them something to look forward to as they come to school each day to grow and learn academically.
The Ottway leadership team met several times throughout the Fall Semester to discuss ideas and strategies. The team members that visited RCA were very influential in taking what they learned, and developing a program that would fit our students' needs. After much discussion, the idea to develop a House System for grades K-8 at Ottway Elementary School was born. A House System is typically designed to connect students both within and across grade levels via a common identity, cause, and activity. It is also seen as a way to reduce bullying within schools and to create a sense of camaraderie, friendship, and ownership....all while enjoying a little friendly competition.
Students in grades K-8 have been divided into four houses of approximately 70 students each with faculty members acting as advisors. The houses are named after rare gem stones, and were chosen for the meaning associated with each stone.
· Chalcedony House- Brotherhood (Colors: Green/White)
· Onyx House- Perseverance (Colors: Black/Silver)
· Citrine House- Self Esteem (Colors: Gold/Black)
· Zircon House- Wisdom (Colors: Blue/Black)
Students earn points for their houses by being recognized for positive behavior, winning house competitions, and individual academic success. Students will be given a lanyard with their house name and colors, along with a wristband to wear at school. This will hopefully provide a sense of pride and belonging for each student. It will also help staff members identify what house each student belongs to when they are to be rewarded for their efforts and successes.
The students sit with their house mates during morning bus duty, and at lunch Monday through Thursday. We have a Free-Sit-Friday, which allows students to sit with friends from other Houses. Houses will meet once a month to discuss goals for the house, and plan for different school, community, and outreach projects. Each house will sponsor a charitable group/event. They will fundraise for that charitable organization throughout the year. The house system provides a unique mentoring opportunity for the Middle School students, and an opportunity for them to give back to their school. It also showcases them as the leaders of the school - someone for the younger grades to admire and look up to. Middle school students will walk the primary students to class each morning, work with them during special class times, and assist them during House Competitions.
More information about our house system will come home in the near future. We encourage you to talk about this new program with your student. We are excited, and want the students to be excited as well! Please encourage them to work hard and try to earn points for their house. If you would like more immediate information, please call me between 3:00-4:00 Monday-Friday at the school, or email us.