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Deer Valley's "House System" Explained

HOOVER - Deer Valley’s House System is an idea adopted from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.  The House System provides students with the opportunity to connect with students and teachers across classes and grade levels with whom they may not normally interact.  This system also helps students gain more friendships and personal connections with faculty and staff, and it creates a family-like culture in our school. Since its inception in 2017, Deer Valley’s House System has created an atmosphere of excitement, engagement, belonging, leadership, and a collaborative spirit that is like nothing we’ve experienced before!

Our House System is based on the Deer Valley’s Six Core Values.  Each house name has a special meaning and represents a different language:

Kindness/Wema- (Swahili) - We choose to treat others with respect and dignity. We will seek to lift up all of those around us and encourage everyone to feel a part of our school community.

Responsibility/Kuleana - (Hawaiian) - We are in control of our own behavior. We will seek to follow the guidelines of the seven habits. We seek ways to improve, and we believe that it is through practice that we get better at anything we pursue.

Compassion/Daya (Hindi) - We take care of each other. When we see a child or a friend in need, we step in to help; not because we want others to notice, but because it's the right thing to do.

Respect/Quantum (Latin) - We understand that each individual at our school has great, innate value. We honor all adults in the building as our teachers and all peers as our friends. We seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Perseverance/Yili (Chinese) - We are passionate about reaching our goals, even if they are huge. We face our obstacles head-on and keep working with enthusiasm no matter what.

Integrity /Kaliwohi (Cherokee) - We are a community of learners who will do what is right and stand up for our beliefs both inside and outside of school. We will treat others the way we want to be treated.

Students, teachers, and staff all belong to a House.  Kindergarten through second-grade students belong to the house of their teacher.  At the beginning of third grade, students spin the “House Wheel” to determine their house.  This will remain their house for the remainder of their time at DVES.  

Houses are an integral part of daily life in our school.  Using Class Dojo, points are given by adults who notice students/classes exhibiting any of the characteristics that the houses represent.  Additionally, students/classes can be recognized for demonstrating DV’s P.A.U.S.E. procedures. Points are displayed on monitors located in the lobby, art hall, and music hall.  Students enjoy checking in daily to see which House is ahead! Fourth and fifth-grade students attend bi-weekly house meetings and participate in a variety of activities to strengthen their familial spirit.

For the first time ever, during the 2018-2019 school year, each third through fifth grade student will have a house shirt that can be worn on “House Spirit Tuesday” during the year!  We must admit, many students throughout the school take “House Spirit Tuesday” very seriously down to colored hair, boas, and tutus! Tuesdays are a favorite around here! 

At the end of the year, the house garnering the most points is recognized as House Champion and their house name is added to a plaque in the front office.  

Deer Valley’s House System is a work in progress.  As we see opportunities to revamp and improve the system, we actively engage students, teachers, and staff in conversations and make the necessary changes.  The House System has made a huge difference here at Deer Valley, and we are excited to see how it continues to shape our future.