By Karrie Meyers — Highlands Ranch, Colorado…Energy, excitement and most importantly a passion for Christ-centered education abounds this year at Mile High Academy. The year theme “Faith Can Move Mountains” was unveiled to more than 220 students as they encircled the MHA campus during the school’s annual Prayer Walk.
“God continues to bless our students and school,” said Jamie Frain, VP of School Culture. “We are so thankful to start the year with Him taking center stage on campus.”
MHA is continuing to expand ways to ensure students feel welcome and a part of the school’s community. One such contributor to the feeling of community and school ownership is the implementation of House Groups. The core guidelines for House Groups is based on The Ron Clark Academy House System. Ron Clark Academy (RCA) is a highly acclaimed, nonprofit middle school in Southeast Atlanta that has received both national and international recognition for its success in educating students.
“Our MHA faculty and staff have visited the RCA campus to best implement the House System,” said Frain. “It was clear that their student sense of belonging is strong. We knew implementing a similar system on our campus would further strengthen relationships at MHA. Thanks to the NAD Education Department for providing the initial Ron Clark Academy Professional Development experience.”
MHA lower school students have been placed in House Groups according to which house their teachers joined. 6thgrade and new students were randomly assigned to a house group by use of a spinning color wheel. Middle and upper schools will remain in their respective House Group until their graduation from Mile High Academy. House Groups are also identified by t-shirts in their respective color. Visitors to Mile High Academy will see these shirts on Spirit Days and Fridays.
The four House Groups have a distinguishing Bible verse, tagline and CHERISH value specific to Mile High Academy. They are as follows:
- Color: Black
- Bible Text: Galatians 6:4-5 “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
- Tagline: Only those who dare to fail greatly ever achieve greatly
- CHERISH Value: House of Exploration
- Color: Red
- Bible Text: Romans 12:10-11 “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.”
- Tagline: Honor, serve, love
- CHERISH Value: House of Honor/Service
LEOCOR: Lion Heart
- Color: Purple
- Bible Text: Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the righteous are bold as lions.”
- Tagline: Rise and rise again until lambs become lions
- CHERISH Value: House of Heroism
- Color: Green
- Bible Text: Ephesians 3:17-18 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ.”
- Tagline: Rooted in Christ; Growing in Truth
- CHERISH Value: House of Integrity/Responsibility
A point system, based on both team and individual points, is tracked and tallied together to determine the winning House at the end of the year. Points are earned through good character, academic achievement, school spirit, outstanding performance, effort, teamwork, humility, compassion and responsibility. Teachers, staff and even students can notify the appropriate team leader to request points be awarded.
“We want Mile High Academy to be a school known for promoting positive, inspiring relationships for our students,” said Chris Morris, Middle School Teacher and House Group Coordinator. “Our House Groups allow for every student to be teamed with caring adults and fellow MHA students to instill a feeling of pride, promote doing the right thing, and belonging in our school.”
— By Karrie Meyers; photos supplied