An unwavering goal of the Wharton Borough Public School District is to provide all learners a positive and safe learning environment. With that goal in mind, the district will look to implement the innovative community system called “Houses”.
The District’s hope is that the “House” system will create a “safe zone” within the schools that fosters a sense of belonging by encouraging leadership, community, camaraderie, competition and compassion. It will provide vertical learning avenues which celebrate all students, promote philanthropic opportunities and deliver tutoring and peer/social modelling for identified students.
In this system, students will be divided into “Houses” across grade levels and each “House” will be assigned approximately 14 teachers/staff members from both the elementary and middle school. This structure is designed to build and promote community across the grade levels and throughout the school.
By instituting this plan, students will have the ability to take ownership and play a positive active role in their community. They will also be afforded academic opportunities as tutoring prospects abound and the vertical arrangement of houses and the inclusion of general and special education students will provide avenues for social skills and positive peer modeling.
“Houses” will be populated by randomly placing students into their groups in a number of small assemblies. These “Houses” will remain together throughout their years in district, and graduating eighth graders will be replaced by entering pre-K and kindergarten students. This will provide students the opportunity to mature into and assume leadership positions within their “House” after observing their elder peers.
It is not the intention to replace and supplant our grade level and content instruction, planning or activities with this. By meeting at scheduled times throughout the course of the school year, we look to expand our horizons with this innovative structure to offer new methods for academic achievement and advancement, leadership opportunities and avenues for philanthropic undertakings, thereby involving the greater Wharton Community.
I am excited for the implementation of new and trailblazing designs and educational structures to engage and immerse our students in expansive learning environments.
We will only continually improve if we are open and willing to try new and dynamic ideas. Just as with the students, life-long learners only are so when they are faced with a “healthy level of anxiety”.