One week into the school year and House activities have already begun at Hayes High School.
The House System was implemented in 2015 and divides the student body into eight houses in which students spend one period a day with their house. In the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the houses held events throughout the school year and competed for The House Cup.
The architect of the House System at Hayes, Vice Principal Rex Reeder, said it is designed to foster bonds between students outside of traditional social cliques.
However, House activities and The House Cup were cancelled at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and did not take place during the 2020-2021 school year due to the hybrid schedule and the pandemic.
Reeder said Wednesday the school has resumed House activities this year, and students spend time in their house during ninth period. He added the eight houses have already begun having events, including contests and social gatherings for students.
On Wednesday, students in the Sugar Grove house went outside to the baseball field for an ice cream social. Ryan Montgomery, co-dean of Sugar Grove, said the event was designed to let students hang out and get to know each other.
“The goal is student engagement,” he said. “We want them to build the relationships they lost last year.”
For underclassmen who have never had a full year of House activities, House is something of a mystery.
“It’s really quiet and boring,” said Selena Reid, a freshman. “I just wish the classroom was more fun. This is fun. I like this. It’s better than sitting in there. … It feels like back in middle school when you had extra time to do your work. It feels really normal.”
Fauti Jallow, a junior, agreed, adding she hopes to have more events during House and encouraged Reid to take part in competitions for The House Cup.
Junior Luke Todt said he hasn’t made any new friends in House, but he hopes people open up more as the year goes on.
“I don’t really have an opinion on House yet,” he said. “It’s fine. The activities are fun. … Everyone is just kind of quiet.”
Todt added he’s looking forward to the House Games.
Senior Taylor McMillin said she enjoyed the event.
“I feel like I didn’t have as close of a relationship with my teachers last year, (so it’s nice to get to know them),” McMillin said. “It’s like recess, basically.”
Amelia Harvey, a fellow senior, added she enjoys having the House period at the end of the day again.
“It’s fun to have something to look forward to at the end of the day,” she said. “It’s nice to meet all the underclassmen.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.