House System @ IMSThe primary purpose for starting was to give every kid something to believe in and belong to at school. We also wanted to unify the elementary and junior high parts of our school to help it feel inclusive for all. The House system unifies our school through enhancing social-emotional learning, team-building, anti-bullying, drug awareness, etc. With our motivated staff and engaged student body and parent community, our House system is a growing success.
There are 8 Houses, and each has a character trait that is valued both at school and in the community.
- Credo- perseverance
- Mkali- illumination/positivity
- Makiramy- empathy
- Meraki- creativity
- Integrita- integrity
- Synergi- synergy/teamwork
- Teenima- generosity
- Uongozi - leadership
There is one House Staff Leader, affectionately known as the House Mother or House Father. All but one House is represented by the House’s founder.
- All other faculty and staff are divided among the eight houses. These staff serve as trusted adult mentors for House members (All students are assigned a mentor; for younger students, that may be a seventh or eighth grade House “sister” or “brother.”). Mentors across grade levels (ex. 8th grader w/ 6th; and a 7th w/ a 5th) help to create a sense of belonging and unity. A family is created.
There is one Prefect per house (an 8th-grade student who exhibits leadership qualities and is chosen by house faculty)
Sorting DayAt this event, each new student (fifth-graders and new students) is individually sorted into a house at random. (We have had each student draw a colored wristband, we have had students to pop a confetti filled balloon, a giant color wheel, open envelopes, and punch-a-cup with a duck to determine House placement.)
- There is a house winner at the end of the year based on how many points they achieve along the way.
- Houses are competing for the House Cup and a banquet in their honor to be held in May.
- At the banquet, all of IMS’s houses unite to wear the winning house’s color, and there is a celebration for that house.
Point system: Points are given by faculty based on school spirit, outstanding performance, academic excellence, good character, effort, and other admirable qualities consistent with our house traits. Parents can download the app we use to see immediately when their children receive points and what they received them for. To promote positive behavior from the students, points are only awarded and never taken away.
Each month a house is highlighted and each has a specific service project that all students schoolwide unify to participate in. They become really excited to help, and they learn more about the groups they are helping.
- Pennies for Patients for Leukemia research
- Care baskets for Nursing home patients
- Snack baskets and food gift cards for public service officials like dispatch, EMT, PD, FD, sheriff, and first responders
- Coat drive
- Bridge House in Burnsville
- St. Jude’s
- Preparing Trick-or-Treat Bags for IES students
- Canned Food Drive
- Toy Drive
Also each month we have our “Tribe Time” by houses, Mrs. Howell our counselor, researches and puts together discussion points and a short video around each house’s character quality.
The IMS House System (using the Ron Clark Academy's methods): is a dynamic, exciting, and proven way to create a positive climate and culture for students and staff. The houses help our school confidently implement processes that build character, relationships, and school spirit. Each house exemplifies a characteristic in which we want our students and teachers to procure. Each House has unique properties such as its own color, motto, animals, crest, and more. Over time, each House also starts to take on its own values and personality driven by the culture of the students and staff within it.