Picture of wooden house cut outs with trees

Island City Elementary House System



The students at Island City Elementary have been busy with a new and exciting project at their school. It’s called a House System, and Principal Brett Smith recently explained what it is.


The project started in January 2020, a couple of months before the onset of the COVID pandemic. At that time, ICE staff started to plan, but then in March had to pause. The concept of the House System is to establish a number of “houses” that all students, teachers and staff belong to. Each house has about 24 members, with students from different grade levels and usually with a teacher who is not their regular classroom teacher, plus one or two other adults. “So, students may have a peer from their own grade in their house, or they may not, but it’s really about interacting with students of all ages for the experience,” Smith said.


The purpose of the project is to create a positive school climate by involving ALL the people in the school, including educational assistants, office staff, custodians and more. Activities will promote older students leading and mentoring younger students, discussing the positive character traits the school focuses on each month, more interaction between grades and allowing students to build connections with more adults in their school.


October marked the kick off of the House System, where the idea was explained. Each house group will name their house, choose colors for their house and in the future create a crest to illustrate it. The houses will meet twice a month.


Smith said students, teachers and staff are all pretty excited to get going and start forming their connections within their house. “Sharing ideas, talking about building character, exploring new ways to interact in our school community and connecting with more trusted adults is what we are really hoping to accomplish,” Smith said, “plus, it’s a lot of fun!”