The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

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The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Students reflect on the decision to opt out of House or stay

House+teachers+stand+with+their+representative+house+colors+in+the+Rowland+Center.
Ava Vogel
House teachers stand with their representative house colors in the Rowland Center.

Interim Principal Rex Reeder created the House system while working in New Albany’s school district. At Hayes, House was started during the 2015-2016 school year, with the idea of creating opportunity for all students in mind.
“The goal is to give our kids as many opportunities as we can to show their talents, be successful, feel good about themselves and meet new people,” Reeder said.
The House period used to be in the middle of the day but with four lunch periods, but it was pushed to the end of the day.
For the past couple of years, juniors and seniors have had the opportunity to opt out of House, allowing a more flexible schedule for their school day.
However, the upperclassmen not involved in house throughout the year are unable to compete during House competitions and House Games days.
Opting out of House allows students to leave an extra 30 minutes before the end of the day. Some students leave even earlier in the school day from not having a full class schedule. With this, students who don’t have a full day of classes do not have to come back to school for House in the afternoon. These students are able to pick up longer work shifts, get ready before after school activities, etc.
With not having House, it allows students to have more time outside of school.
“It’s a good chunk of time between the end of the school day [for me] and my extracurriculars,” junior Carissa Matson said.
Matson said that she was previously part of Sugar Grove when she participated in House. However, the extra time now allows a break after school. During the play season in the fall, Matson uses the extra time to get things done and ready before rehearsals. Opting out of House also gives her time to get around for club meetings and events after school.
Using the time wisely during House is often seen as a struggle. House can be used as a social period, but some students find their time spent better elsewhere. Around 150 students chose to opt out of House this year, which helps to lessen the numbers in the school. However, these along with the students who go to the Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) in the afternoon are unable to participate in House activities.
All those parts of House allow students to meet new people across grade levels in their House rooms along with teachers that students may not have had during their time at Hayes.
Still, many juniors and seniors have chosen to remain in House in order to provide leadership for the underclassmen or to participate in events.
“I think really being a part of the community every day is important,” senior Walt Conte said. “I know a lot more people around the school that I wouldn’t because of my schedule.”
This year, House clubs were incorporated back into the House schedule, putting kids from multiple Houses into an in-school club.
These structured club days allow students to get to know each other throughout the different Houses in a cohesive club space. House club days do not interfere with any extracurricular activities after school, allowing students to be more involved.
Along with getting the whole day of House Games to be with peers, those in House get to compete for the House Cup.
There are eight houses with students and teachers from across the school. Similar to the book series “Harry Potter,” each House earns points from competitions throughout the year to work towards earning the House Cup. In recent years, Steamtown has continued to win the cup, however, the other Houses are prepared to fight for the House Cup this year.
Conte is one senior who opted out of House last year, but he said he chose to come back in order to help his House, Prospect Hill, do well in the House Cup competition. “I felt very left out and out of the loop last year when I couldn’t be a part of House games and all the other competitions throughout the year,” Conte said.
During his junior year, Conte left after his seventh period class. With opting back into House for his senior year, he was a part of Prospect Hill’s group in the Lip Sync competition earlier this year, which Prospect Hill won.
New this year was the Ice Games competition, which functioned as a mini House Games hosted during the assessment week schedule. The purpose of Ice Games was to build excitement for House, giving those in House time to compete and taking advantage of time after the first two exam periods on Monday.
“Afterwards I’ll take feedback from students to see what else they’d like to see during the Ice Games,” Reeder said.

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About the Contributor
Ava Vogel, Staff Writer
Ava Vogel (she/her) is a junior at Hayes. This is her first year on staff. She is a varsity player and a captain of the tennis team. She is a part of Tri-M along with the Thespian's troupe. She is also in Hayes Players and Symphonic Choir. Outside of school, she loves spending time with friends, building Legos, and watching Disney movies.
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