Change is coming to House next year

A+drawing+by+Isa+Quilter+depicts+students+working+together+to+build+House+at+Hayes+back+up.

Isa Quilter

A drawing by Isa Quilter depicts students working together to build House at Hayes back up.

Olivia O'Rourke, Staff Writer

House at Hayes this year has been a cause of controversy among staff and students. However, changes will be implemented next year in hopes of improving the system for everyone.
One thing that will not be changing about House next year is the period it takes place. Next year’s daily schedule will have the same format as this year’s, leaving a 25-minute period at the end of the day for the class.
“We’re so big we need four lunches,” Assistant Principal Rex Reeder said. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t like it in the middle of the day, but the problem is, sometimes we have to adjust it to help the student body.”
Next year juniors and seniors will be given the opportunity to opt out if they choose to do so as well, but this means they would not be able to participate in any house events.
House next year will also have a more academic focus compared to this year, with a leadership component.
“I’d like to get the House Senate back going with student leadership,” Reeder said. “The House Senate was a chance for students to give their voice.”
The House Senate was composed of representatives who chose to participate from each house that worked on projects to improve the building.
Hayes does not currently have very many leadership opportunities for students. Reeder says he hopes that House can become an area where those kinds of positions can be put in place.
“I think we’d like to do leadership training,” Reeder said. “I do think that looks good on your resume.”
House clubs should be making an appearance after two years again next year as well, along with the other activities that took place this year.
“We’ll still do some fun things, of course,” Reeder said. “And obviously one of the events, House Games, was a great day. People had a lot of fun. We will have those events, I just can’t do those every day.”
Staff and students can both agree that the pandemic took a major toll on House, leading to many of the issues that plagued the program this year, including a lack of spirit and an overall fatigue.
“I do believe that house got off to a little bit of a rough start,” said Sugar Grove House Dean Katrina Wetherby. “It was a big change, adding it at the end of the day. It was just kind of a shift in mindset, and don’t forget that everybody was still transitioning back to full time in school. So it was just a lot of change in one year.”
Losing more than a year of full time school also led to students having an unfamiliar sense of what house is supposed to be.
“The senior class was the only class that’s ever seen house games,” Reeder said. “So really that’s three classes that have really not seen House, and that’s what we ran into this year.”
Many students also have their own ideas about how House could be improved next year. “I want to see more House Games throughout the year,” junior Austin Smith said. “I feel like there’s just too little compared to House Games at the end.”
Others are looking forward to participating in the events they did this year again next year.
“I’m excited for Wits and Wagers right off the bat,” junior Erin Madden said. “That was one of my favorite competitions last year.”
No matter their opinions, Reeder wants students to realize how unique House and their opportunity to take part in it is.
“Most students think everybody has House,” Reeder said. “There’s no other district that has House. The key is no one does what you do.”
The purpose of House is to provide both social and academic benefits to students at Hayes. The overarching goal for next year is to simply ensure that it is serving its purpose.
“I think I’m most excited about House evolving and changing in ways that will make it even better and stronger for the students,” Wetherby said.