Introducing Houses: A New Era for Nueva

Apr 25, 2017 | News, On Campus

Do you ever wish you went to school at Hogwarts? Would you like to learn witchcraft and wizardry? Do you want to be a member of an illustrious house? Well, while you might not be able to do those first two, as a member of the Nueva Upper School, you are now part of a house system.

As of April 25th, there are four houses at Nueva: Lykos, Ursa, Ceres, and Aquila. The first house, Lykos, is represented by a riptide blue wolf on a navy blue banner. The second house, Ursa, is represented by an ember orange bear on a crimson red banner. The third house, Ceres, is represented by a moss green stag on an evergreen banner. The final house, Aquila, is represented by a gold eagle on a midnight black banner.

The house system was organized by juniors Ari N. and Jessa M. with the help of a group of students known as the house committee. Ari said there were three main reasons that he wanted to implement the house system. He said that it was intended to “build stronger bonds between the grades,” and “boost school spirit.” Another, more long-term impact Ari said he hoped for was “a sense of home at our school that we could come back to years later.” Jessa agreed and said her goal was to “create a real sense of community.”

If you were hoping for a Sorting Hat, you’re out of luck. Jessa says “Houses are sorted randomly, but are balanced in terms of grade and gender. Siblings will also be in the same house.” Ari said that there is no sorting quiz and no traits assigned to any house because “dividing [students] up by an arbitrary trait didn’t make much sense” for a system intended to bring the community together. Much for the same reason, there is no way to switch out of your house after the Sorting Ceremony in order to “promote the most mingling of people who might not usually hang out.”

Houses will be divided into families of eight students. The average family will have two students from each grade, although some may be a little unbalanced. The goal of families is to provide a support structure for students within the larger house system. Teachers will also be sorted into houses, but will not be sorted into families, as the house system is intended to be entirely student-run.

Houses will be led by one member from each grade, and these students will have the responsibility of organizing a monthly house meeting and house activities. Because the system is made by students and led by students, Ari and Jessa say they are hopeful that student feedback will be able to refine and shape the system as the needs of the student body change.

We hope this system will change to reflect the needs of the students and become the best system it can be.

In an effort to inspire more competition between houses and more loyalty to the house you are sorted into, there will be a point system to award houses with points over the course of the year. Houses can win points by beating other houses in competitions, attending to spirit games, or participating in charity drives. “At the end of the year, the house with the most points will get privileges for the next year, a premium banner, and a few more surprises and perks.” Students will be able to buy house merchandise to show spirit, but it will not count toward any additional points for their house.

After students were sorted into their houses, Jessa concluded with her hopes for the house system: “We hope this system will change to reflect the needs of the students and become the best system it can be.”

Edit 9/2/17: An earlier version stated that the name of the first house was Lupa, but is has since been changed to Lykos. This change is now reflected in the article.