Benchmark's Child & Family Support Services Team leads our three House Communities as a way to strengthen bonds.
This community-building initiative mixes students from each grade level in three distinct “Houses" in order to:
- Nourish our rich sense of community
- Provide more intentional opportunities for older and younger students to interact
- Provide more structured leadership opportunities for older students to mentor younger students
- Offer everyone more ways to serve others
House Community Events
Throughout the school year, House Mornings and Fun Fridays feature different themes and include activities that focus on "soft skills" (such as attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, and critical thinking) along with friendly House Cup competitions.
These events build relationships among students across age groups and help students build an awareness of themselves. They also serve as great platforms for promoting messages and continuing the conversations we have begun with smaller groups of students in class meetings.
All the events include activities such as discussions, games, reading books together, and leading community service projects.
The Three House Communities
Every member of the school community is assigned to a House, and the three Houses are:
- The House of Learners (Green House)
- The House of Thinkers (Blue House)
- The House of Problem Solvers (Orange House)
The House Communities correlate with our school’s mission statement: Benchmark School is committed to helping bright students who learn differently, or have yet to reach their academic potential, develop the confidence, strategies, and knowledge to become lifelong learners, thinkers, and problem-solvers.
The Continued Benefits
The formal House Community events have been obvious places for building closer connections among students of all ages, but the positive outcomes have not stopped there. All over the school, there have been many examples of the new shared bonds that form across grades.
For younger students, the programs provide a way to help them feel safe and connected. For older students, it's the rewarding to connect with and mentor younger students. A “buddy system” pairing middle school students with our youngest new students during these House Community events has been a positive experience for all involved.
In addition, the middle school students who serve as House Captains have taken on leadership roles and continue to grow in ways that they themselves did not expect.