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What is the House System?
Established for the 2018-2019 school year, the LCHS house system is intended to give our students a place where meaningful relationships and connections can be formed, cultivated, and fostered. LCHS has four houses: Joseph House, Tekakwitha House, De Porres House, and Frassati House. All four houses are named after Saints who are represented in our chapel. The houses provide a space within the school day for each student to be treated and known as an individual. We are confident that our four houses will give our school a place where connections can be fostered between students and staff members alike, where each person is treated with dignity and respect.
The Great Crux
Each year, the houses compete for the coveted Great Crux trophy. The goal is to foster healthy competition while providing opportunities for growth and leadership in addition to boosting house and school pride. Points are awarded to particular students, groups, or entire houses for excellence in academics, service, house/school spirit, athletics, and more. All Great Crux points are tallied at the end of each quarter, and the trophy is given to the house with the most points during the last All School Mass with the seniors at the beginning of May.
2020-21 Champions: Frassati House
- 2019-20: No Champion (COVID shutdown)
- 2018-19: Frassati House
Our Houses At-A-Glance
Patron: St. Joseph
Motto: Nos Rebus Gestis Cognoscant (Latin)
Translation: Let Them Know Us By Our Actions
Virtues: Faith, Integrity
Dean: Mr. Steve Pohl
School Captain: Albert Naccarato
Patron: St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Motto: Jesos Konoronkwa (Mohawk)
Translation: Jesus, I Love You
Virtues: Unshakeable Faith and Fortitude
Dean: Mr. Dan Spitzley
School Captain: Jonah Richards
Patron: St. Martin de Porres
Motto: Sirviendo a Cristo en el Pobre y Vulnerable (Spanish)
Translation: Serving Christ in the Poor and Vulnerable
Virtues: Perseverance, Generosity
Dean: Ms. Erin Ladd
School Captain: Abby Morris
Patron: Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
Color: Dark Red
Motto: Verso L'Alto (Italian)
Translation: To the Heights
Virtues: Charity (Carita), Courage (Coraggio)
Dean: Mr. Ron Krauss
School Captain: Sailor Somerville
Why use the house system?
The house system provides a different structure of support for all of our students, giving them a place where they belong and can form meaningful relationships with one another and staff.
Where did the idea for the house system come from?
LCHS first got the idea from Franciscan University of Steubenville, which has been using a house system for over 40 years. We then discovered a version of the house system in one of the colleges at Michigan State University, along with many other universities and high schools across the country. Archbishop Moeller High School, which has used the house system since 2005, hosted a conference in June of 2018 about how to implement and execute a house system in high schools. A number of LCHS faculty and students attended this conference in order to learn more about the system and network with these other schools. This gave us the confidence to implement the system in the 2018-19 school year.
How is the house system organized?
Overseeing the entire system is the director of houses, one staff member charged with the big picture of how the house system fits into the school at-large. Each house has a dean, responsible for the personality and well-being of an individual house. Each house is further subdivided in six rodzinka groups. Each rodzinka has a staff mentor teacher, 18-25 students, is a mix of all four grade levels, and is single-gender. Each house also has two Rodzinka Assistants, staff members who help provide support to the deans and the mentors in that house.
The house system is also intended to produce student leaders, and there are many opportunities for student involvement in the structure of our houses. There are 4 school captains, one student elected from within each house to represent the entire student body. There are also 16 grade level representatives, one student elected per grade, per house. Finally, we have 24 rodzinka representatives, one student chosen from each rodzinka to represent their little family. The captains and the grade level reps work mostly with the director to work on and improve the whole system, while the rodzinka reps work more with their individual deans, focusing on their particular house and rodzinkas.
What is a rodzinka?
The word rodzinka is the name given to our small groups, taken from the life of our school patron, St. John Paul the Great. Before he was Pope, he was Fr. Karol Wojtyła, a simple parish priest in Kraków, Poland. During his time there, he began meeting with a group of about 20 young people. They would discuss philosophy, art, the virtues, and all things related to the Catholic faith. They began to call themselves a rodzinka, which in Polish means little family. The rodzinka is the heart and soul of our House System. Everything we do begins and ends in this little family and the connections that are built there provide the structure and support for our students to thrive.
How is rodzinka time used?
We enforce the "Empty Hands Policy" for rodzinka. This means that students are not to bring anything with them, no homework, projects, devices, etc. We do this because the whole point of the House System is to give students a spot without distractions, time set aside for building friendships and connections unencumbered by anything else. Sometimes the rodzinka will have discussions on various topics, sometimes they will be playing games, sometimes they may meet up with another rodzinka, or meet up as a whole house.
Do houses and rodzinkas change year-by-year?
No, these are meant to be permanent communities. Even after graduating, alumni of LCHS are still considered part of their particular house. The rodzinkas are also meant to be as permanent as possible. Staff changes, graduating seniors, and new students will mean that some changes happen every year, but there should be pretty low turnover from year to year within the rodzinka, providing stability and consistency within the little family. Siblings will always be in the same house, but if they are LCHS students at the same time they will be in different rodzinkas.