All the buzz for the 2015-16 school year seems to revolve around the new advisory houses. Stemming from a little Harry Potter inspiration, advisory houses are focussed around the idea of raising school spirit. These houses will also be used to incorporate more activities and experiences of a “normal” high school.
So, the plan is that each house will pose as a team, containing a freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior advisory. Throughout the year, different events and competitions will take place in which each house will compete for, winning all sorts of different prizes. Points can be gained for students in different categories, academic aspects, school spirit, and just general acts of kindness. Things such as helping to prevent interims within your advisory or supporting your friends at their sports games is enough to gain some points for your team. There will be a final competition at the end of the year to see which house has the overall most amount of points. The goal is to raise school spirit while encouraging students to not only do their best academically, but as individuals in the school community as well.
“This has the potential to be very powerful.”, states senior advisor, Mark Bey. The key word here is potential. The idea of these houses and all they stand for is a great one, but nothing great will come of any of this unless all students, of all different grades, get involved. “Freshmen love incentives.”, says Freshman Ariana Floores, and that is exactly what is planned. Work for a pizza party, or a surprise as such, within your advisory by limiting interims. All it takes is some participation throughout the school to create traditions that can shape our school as a community.
Ultimately, though, students should want to participate. A complaint heard throughout the school from all different grades is that SLA doesn’t provide a “normal” high school experience, but this is what advisory houses are attempting to fix. “We are a building that doesn’t contain many traditional high school aspects and this is a way of building a culture.”, says senior advisor, Pia Martin. Understandably, this school will never be normal, but this is all an attempt to create our own high school experience with our own culture and traditions.
In the end it is up to all of us students to allow these advisory houses to live up to their potential and expectations and to allow them to be as successful as they possibly can. The first house meetings were a success, so continue to make the most out of this experience and participate in all you can! Also, check in for more updates on advisory houses and all the competitions throughout the school year.