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BEHS students have a special place to call 'home'

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IN OUR HOUSE

By Mary Barczak

 Bullitt East High School is taking extra steps to ensure its student population creates lasting bonds before exiting the school halls forever.

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The school recently instituted a new structure called Houses, which has divided the students into ten homerooms or their “house” with all four grade levels mixed in.

 Fortis (courage), Muneris (responsibility), Spero (hope), Bonitas (goodness), Episteme (knowledge), Tharrhountes (courage), Koinonia (community), Augmentum (growth), Somnium (dream) and Pisti (loyalty) are the ten houses.

These were the 10 core attributes that we wanted students to strive for, said Andrea Isaacs one of the teachers at BE who helped with the effort.

Towards the end of her term as principal at BE, Debby Atherton asked Isaacs and another BE teacher April McCroskey to see how the system was implemented at other schools. They visited a the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta and Trinity High School in Louisville.

“We were worried to bring it back,” she said.

The duo decided they needed some student help to implement it. They held a student election last year and four student representatives from each grade met with the team this summer where they decided on the names and colors. The group also decided to break up the houses alphabetically by last name.

“We want students to have a place they automatically fit into,” she said.

Along with bonding, they also hopes it promotes team spirit and good work ethic. Students are awarded points for their house for perfect attendance, making the honor roll and attending marque school events.

“It is competitive, the kids are getting really excited,” Isaacs said.

Every nine weeks the points will reset and the top house might receive a prize such as a dress down day, she said.

The top four houses with the most points at the end of the year will compete in a field day.

But Houses is about more than just play, each house is also responsible for their own community service project for the school year, which they are working on choosing now.

BE principal Willie Foster said the response to Houses has been positive so far.

“One of the things that will continue to be a challenge for us here at Bullitt East, as we grow in number and size, is that it gets hards to connect with each kid that comes in,” he said.

Foster said he hopes the program helps to alleviate some of that and encourages students to talk to others they normally wouldn’t have.

House members will meet on  early dismissal days.