Moeller House System: The Students Review
It was in 2005 when Moeller High School changed forever. It was the year that the form of student governance that we call the “House System” was adopted by Moeller. According to an interview with Karen Matuszek, the Director of the House System, in a 2005 edition of Moeller Magazine, the goal of the House System is to “provide opportunities for students to build strong personal and collegial relationships”. Another goal for the House System is to develop student’s leadership skills. “I have seen many students accept leadership roles in the House System and go on to be great leaders later in life,” said Matuszek. Overall, the British-style form of student government is made to provide its students with lifelong values of community and leadership.
Although the House System is a form of student governance, it requires a lot of work from the faculty and staff of Moeller. “One thing I think that students don’t realize is how much time it takes,” says Mrs. Terri Schaffer, who is currently serving as the Eveslage House Dean. “We (the deans) are here during the summer to start organizing for the upcoming school year”. Some things house deans must organize are house days, school fundraisers, and House sports, on top of staying up to date on the grades and personal lives of their students.
Based on a survey of 207 students, mentor group has had an overall positive affect on the students at Moeller. According to the survey, 75% of students enjoy going to mentor group and find it useful. Spending time in mentor group has allowed 87% of students to respond that they’ve become friends with students in varying grades. Mentor groups have also successfully terminated the ‘teacher vs. student' mentality. 84% of students responded that they talk to their mentor group teacher 1 on 1 at least twice a year, and they feel comfortable speaking about their personal lives.
Even though mentor groups have had a positive affect at Moeller, there is some room for improvement. Although 68% of mentor groups set up activities at least twice a year, only 18% of mentor groups participate in activities on a regular basis, and Moeller would like to see this number a lot higher. Activities that Moeller would like to see is breakfasts, outdoor games, or friendly competitions.
The House System has received a positive response. About 86% of students said they feel welcomed to Moeller because of the House System, and 96% of students feel that the House System has increased their school spirit. Students also enjoy the annual house days; 82% of the student body enjoys on-campus house days, while 88% enjoy the off-campus house days.
While students appreciate the House System, many students stated that they don’t care much about winning the house cup. Only 26% of students are truly concerned about winning the house cup. Additionally, only 37% of students feel that the house cup competition motivates them to get better grades and less detentions.
Overall, the survey showed that students do enjoy the House System. It also showed that the behind the scenes work and dedication of the deans, mentor teachers, and student leaders have paid off. Without the House System, students wouldn’t feel the sense of brotherhood that is felt in the hallways of Moeller today.