Delaware Hayes High School will be taking a page from Hogwarts next year when it divides students into eight “houses.”
Assistant Principal Rex Reeder said the goal of the new house system is to provide opportunities and connections in more than an academic sense.
On the last day of school last month, students were given a ticket, telling them to go to a room in the school to be sorted into one of the new houses.
Reeder said students will be sorted into houses based on a variety of criteria, including interests, so that no one house is full of too many students of the same type. Reeder said the school wanted to avoid having a “band house or an athlete house” and instead hopes the diversity will expand students’ social circles.
The houses are named Ridge, Prospect Hill, Fairview, Fulton Creek, Sugar Grove, Houk, Lockport and Steamtown. Each house will have its own crest and color.
Reeder said the houses are named after the old one-room schoolhouses in Delaware County. He said he spoke to the Delaware County Historical Society to get the names.
Another factor in the creation of the houses is the size of the student body. Reeder said Hayes will have 2,000 students soon and it’s easy for students to fall through the cracks with a student body that large. Reeder said administrators at Hayes hope the small house sizes will give students a support structure they can lean on.
Reeder said the incoming freshmen were sorted into houses as well and he hopes the familiar faces will ease the transition from middle school to high school.
When school resumes in August, Reeder said students will spend 30 minutes a day with their respective houses during a period previously called “academic options.”
“Students can still get academic help but it also gives them time to get support or get involved in activities,” Reeder said. “We want to make those 30 minutes valuable.”
Reeder said students who don’t usually get involved in activities or groups will have the ability to become a leader or a mentor.
“Leadership roles in clubs can be a popularity contest,” Reeder said. “This way anyone can get leadership training.”
Just like in the Harry Potter series, the school will also have a variety of events that will contribute to the “House Cup,” an award given at the end of the year to the most outstanding house.
Reeder said the first event will likely be an academic trivia competition where representatives from each house will face off. Reeder said there will also be house athletic teams that will allow students who typically can’t take part in after-school sports.
“We just wanted opportunities for students that aren’t about being ‘good enough’,” Reeder said. “Let them show what their passions are.”