Schools Turn to House System to Promote Sense of Belonging

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High School can give you a headache.  

There are college-level classes and everyone in a social clique.

The staff at Bishop Lynch High School wanted to help.

"We have a plan for today. Just go with it. Blindfolds and everything today guys," said teacher Pam Price.

Twice a week students meet with their mentor group, an assigned “House” where every student and faculty member belongs. They socialize, connect, and tackle tasks.

Wayne Carter went to one of the first schools in North Texas to use the “house system.” Students at Bishop Lynch High are doing things like chair races down the hallway.

Students recently had to trust a partner to guide them blindfolded in, under, and through a maze of desks.

"I was like there’s no way that she’s going to do this right. She’s going to run me into things on purpose, so I was really nervous," said student Jillian Jackson. "Once we got going, it was really fun. I noticed, 'oh she’s doing this legit and we are going to make it through.' I ended up really liking it. "

Jackson says these mentor groups made a big difference in reducing stress and helping the place feel like a family.

Many of the activities are thought up by student leaders, like Natalie Lark. "I just have a really creative mind," she said.

After all, what teacher would come up with chair racing in the halls.

"I like it because you get to meet new people, especially upperclassmen like seniors, sophomores, and juniors," said student Aidan Murphy.

They’ve only been at this at Bishop Lynch a short time, but students and school leaders tell us they're certain it's having a huge impact.

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