A house system sounds great in theory. They are supposed to foster community, instill the school with fun, spirited activities, and enable faculty to directly mentor student leaders. But in practice, a house system can often frustrate students, create activities more annoying than pleasant, and make overwhelming demands of even committed faculty. How do we avoid the pitfalls and fulfill the promise of the house system? After nine years of running a now thriving house system at our school—and taking a few lumps along the way—we have some hard-won lessons to share. Student life directly impacts school culture and the success of our efforts in the classroom. This session will focus on the practical ways a house system can inject your school with purpose and focus the atmosphere of student life to the goal of forming mature adults capable of growing beyond us and flourishing.
Christopher Leigh has called Santa Clarita and Trinity Classical Academy home since 2008. Over the years, he has helped to build the rhetoric school, while teaching across the full spectrum of humanities courses; in normal times, he also helps to lead the senior trip to Italy. In 2012, he helped to co-create and launch Trinity’s house system, and in 2016, he became the Dean of the House System. He and his wife Sheri have seven children, six of whom will be students in the fall, spanning kindergarten to 11th grade. He loves to travel, is an enthusiastic amateur chef, and spends as much time as he can manage in the company of good friends and fine discussion.