Housing a new school system

By now, everyone is familiar with our new Advisory program, but what about the house system? Many students have minimal information about this new system. As sophomore Se Young Chun said, “I know the advisories will be split up into the different house systems, but I don’t know why we are even doing this.”

Junior Miranda Schot added, “I think advisory is already good for helping build relationships, so I’m not exactly sure why we also need a house system. Especially for my grade, since next year will be our senior year and we will be having to go through such a big change.”

Michael Chu, current executive council president, answers questions pertaining to the new system being introduced next year.

The Eye: How long have you been planning the house system?

Michael: We’ve been working on the house system since January. There’s a separate house committee led by Mr. Londgren that has been working on the system all year. We’ve been tasked with generating student input and feedback, and for figuring out the role student council will play next year.

Michael Chu. Courtesy of Michael Chu

The Eye: Who came up with it?

Michael: The house system was a proposal by the R&D (Research & Development) team that was heavily discussed and eventually approved.

The Eye: Where did SAS get this idea?

Michael: The R&D team frequently visits other schools to research and discover new ways to improve learning behaviors and the school community.

The Eye: What is the house system?

Michael: The house system is a new way to help SAS feel smaller for its students. The student body is going to be split into three groups of 400 based off of current advisories and quartets. The goal of the house system is to provide opportunities for students to interact more closely and to learn and grow with one another. Many of the aspects of house, like when they meet and the activities they do, depend on the discussions that next year’s house presidents have.

The Eye: Why is this being implemented?

Michael: To help SAS, which is a huge school, feel smaller and more of a supportive environment for its students.

The Eye: What are the concerns of the house system?

Michael: Like always, there are concerns when a new system is being implemented, and there are always people who are against change. General concerns include if they’re going to meet frequently enough for any effect to occur, and will it affect the schedule.

The Eye: What are the differences between the house system and student council?

Michael: The house system is like advisory in the sense that it is a structural change. The house system isn’t a committee or organization of people, so it can’t be compared to Student Council. Student Council changed to accommodate for the changes that the house system is bringing. We’ve become more house orientated now, no longer having elections for grade council representatives, but rather for house council representatives. These house councils will focus more on house activities, rather than solely focusing on grade activities.

The Eye: Why do you think the house system would be good for SAS?

Michael: SAS is a huge school, and many of its students would benefit from meeting more of their peers and from the advice that upperclassmen could offer. Also, I think that if school-wide activities become competitions between houses, school spirit and participation in these events will skyrocket. Overall, the SAS community will feel more intimate for all of its students.

The Eye: How much will it change day-to-day life?

Michael: This depends on the discussions that next year’s house presidents and councils have. Schedules won’t change, but hopefully there will be more events throughout the school year for the houses to grow and have fun with one another.

untitled-posterMr. Londgren adds that the house system has mostly been developed by students, with “everything from the names, colors and symbols to the activities, calendar and priorities.” Additionally, the goals for the house system are “to build new traditions at the school, build school spirit, and help make some connections across grade levels.”

This new school system will be implemented next year for all upcoming freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Any students who are interested are welcome to join Mr. Londgren and student council on Mondays from 4-6 p.m. in S214 as they continue to develop the system.

Author: Namrata Ray

This is Namrata’s second year on the Eye! Currently a senior, she’s better known as Nimi and is originally from Dallas, Texas. This is her fourth year at SAS and in Singapore. She enjoys playing tennis and eating chocolate lava cakes. Namrata can be contacted at ray45882@sas.edu.sg.

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