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The Houses of St. Augustine School exist to glorify God by fostering a strong and sustainable culture of traditions by providing opportunities for fellowship, ministry, service, and leadership while cultivating a sense of pride, responsibility, belonging, and respect among all students, families, and staff.
While the house system’s roots can be traced back to English boarding schools, the concept began to spill over to English comprehensive and American private schools in the 20th century. The house system has experienced a renaissance within the past couple decades, thanks in part to the popularity of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.
At St. Augustine School, our house system is all about culture. According to Dr. Kent Peterson, school culture is the “set of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories that make up the ‘persona’ of the school.” It is our desire to nourish and sustain a school culture that extends through our students and staff to our families and the community we serve to develop within our school a sense of belonging, responsibility, respect, and pride. Our houses create for students opportunities for leadership, mentoring, fellowship, ministry, service, and competition through academics and activities.
Our houses are named for four Latin words that are embedded within the foundation and culture of the school: Joy (Gaudium), Excellence (Praestantia), Wisdom (Sapienta), and Truth (Veritas). Click on each word or the house banner above to read more about each house name.
House points are earned on behalf of individual students and credited to their respective houses. Points are earned through four categories: academic, service, conduct, and activities. House points are tracked using Liveschool.
Academic points are earned each quarter based upon each student’s report card grades. Points are also earned through online programs Reading Counts (quizzes passed from books read) and IXL (math skills mastered). Students may also complete quarterly mind bender exercises for additional points.
Service points are earned based upon participation in the house service project. House service projects will culminate during Family Service Week. Additionally, houses will earn points based upon the creativity, quality, and effectiveness of their service project.
Conduct points are earned through quarterly conduct marks. Additionally, points may be deducted from each house for failure to comply with school expectations.
Activity points are awarded at quarterly events. These events will be held one Friday per quarter and provide the opportunity for students to compete on behalf of their house through various organized activities such as athletic competitions, board games, or talent shows. Scheduled in late April, the fourth quarter capstone activity will be the Gryphon Games. With a lot of points on the line, the Gryphon Games include Olympic-style athletic events to challenge the physical as well as academic exercises designed to reward the intellect.
We strive to teach our students that competition can coexist with a Christ-like attitude. Philippians 2:3 says “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others more significant than yourselves. Look each of you not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” In His sovereignty, God has uniquely created each of us in His image to reflect the diversity of His character; this diversity is embraced and celebrated through competition. By showing humility in victory as well as grace in defeat we glorify God and acknowledge that our skills and talents are unique gifts from Him. Additionally, competition can drive us to excellence, soften our pride, and create fun, lasting memories.
While we’re all about some Harry Potter, we remind our students that St. Augustine School is not Hogwarts. You’ll not find wizards, nor witches, and we don’t play quidditch. More importantly, we don’t have enemies and all our houses strive to engage in healthy, God-honoring competition with camaraderie. We strive for unity as we are first one school, then four houses.