The Ron Clark Academy House System is a dynamic, exciting, and proven way to create a positive climate and culture for students and staff. Using RCA's methods will help your school or district confidently implement processes that build character, relationships, and school spirit.
1. ON THE FIRST DAY of the school year, incoming 5th graders (or the youngest students in your class, school, or district) spin a wheel to be sorted into a House at random.
2. STUDENTS REMAIN IN THIS GROUP until they graduate.
3. EACH HOUSE IS COMPOSED of every child in the school — teachers, faculty, and staff — allowing students to socialize with one another across grades and with positive adult role models beyond just the classroom setting.
4. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, the Houses compete against one another in a variety of competitions by accumulating House points. Individual students can also accumulate points for their House based on behavior and academic success.
5. AT THE END OF THE YEAR, the House with the most points wins the House Championship — and all of the honor and glory that comes with it!
The wheel is designed with the four Houses evenly divided around it, and a series of pegs on the outer edge to stop and select the House that the student will be sorted into. (There are also point values and “levels” on the wheel, which we’ll discuss in Section 3: The Point System). Spinning the wheel is a huge moment for the new students, and they should be surrounded by all of the older students and the staff from each of the Houses; the current House members should get excited and cheer the spinning student on, encouraging them as they spin the wheel, and hoping that the wheel places more students in their own House too! At RCA, whichever fifth grader is asked to spin last is the child that our staff says that we see the most potential in at that point in time — this makes even the last child to spin feel incredibly special.
Giving Points The RCA House System is supported by the point system — both work together to create a fun and healthy competitive spirit amongst the Houses. Points are collected throughout the year by each student, counting toward their overall House’s score, to help determine the champions at the end of the year. First, and maybe most importantly, points must be earned, not given. A child should not receive a point for doing just anything. This helps establish expectations that points are valuable and shouldn’t be expected every day for regular or expected tasks. Instead, points should be seen as something for when a child goes above and beyond. Examples of this include stopping to help an underclassman or asking a staff member how they can help with something even if they haven’t been asked to help. Points should be given when students demonstrate character. Second, we encourage schools to not fall into “point inflation.” Receiving one point alone for something should be seen as a standard reward for a great action. To receive two points for something would be above and beyond. Receiving twentyfive points for something, on the other hand, would be an extraordinary reward and not something that should happen often. This keeps each point feeling very valuable. As an example, at RCA, we award fifteen points for achieving A-B honor roll and twenty-five points for all A honor roll. Third, students can never ask for points in exchange for doing something they’re told. And fourth and finally, schools should never take away points. They belong to the student once they are earned. This is incredibly important!
How Can Students Earn Points?
: • Good Character • Academic Excellence • School Spirit • Outstanding Performance • Effort • Teamwork • Humility • Compassion • Responsibility We recommend putting a cap on how many points can be given for a certain behavior. This helps keep scoring consistent among faculty and staff members. The best part about the house system is that the incentive program involves everyone in your school. Teachers, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, office staff, and/or anyone on staff at the school can award points. Students quickly recognize that eyes are always watching.
Who Can Award Points?
The best part about the house system is that the incentive program involves everyone in your school. Teachers, custodial staff, cafeteria staff, office staff, and/or anyone on staff at the school can award points. Students quickly recognize that eyes are always watching.