Panthers. Monsters. Turtles. Bulldogs. Wolves.
If you think these are Halloween costumes you might spot this week, think again! These are our Rock Room Mascots!
New this year we’ve introduced “Rock Rooms” in our Middle School.
Rock Rooms are a “house” system, where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades work together to build community, succeed academically, and perform service, all while having fun!
What is a house system?
House systems are groups comprised of a mixture of students from different grade levels (in our case, 6th, 7th and 8th grades). The students work together to earn points for their house in friendly competition.
Points can be earned in a variety of ways including school involvement, academic achievement, or sporting/house competitions to name a few.
“House systems have been shown to have many positive impacts on students,” said Suzanne Barnett, principal. “They provide opportunities for students to build relationships with teachers and peers they may not otherwise get to know, develop leadership skills, create a sense of inclusion and engagement toward a common goal, and help ease the transition into middle school.”
Once in a house, students remain in that house throughout 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.
What does it look like at St. Martha?
Incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade students received a letter in the summer from their Rock Room teacher welcoming them into their class.
On the first day of school, Rock Rooms held their first meeting to discuss student and teacher roles within the rooms, competitions that would be held, and ways to earn points.
Students participated in a team building day where houses competed against each other in a St. Martha scavenger hunt. Each house voted to decide house names, mascots and colors. Students who had written essays were selected to be Rock Room representatives. Those representatives make up the Student Council for the school year.
There are five different houses, each named after a founding member of St. Martha.
- Grimm Panthers (white & blue)
- Mazzoni Wolves (midnight purple)
- Kraeszig Bulldogs (black & blue)
- Moran Monsters (blue & orange)
- Givan Turtles (green & silver)
Since the team building day, students have been earning points for participation in extracurricular activities. Activities range from sports, to service, to academic teams. As the trimesters draw to an end, students earn points for successful academic performance and growth in learning.
Rock Room representatives are leading the school in stewardship projects such as collecting items for Roo’s Wish, which supports kids in foster care, and Scholastic’s Pajama Drive, which collects pajamas and books for at-risk students.
Overall, our Rock Rooms have been a great success, creating smaller communities within the larger community and making stronger bonds and connections between students and teachers.
We can hardly wait to see what the future holds!