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Discovery Academy House System

In the Fall of 2019, the Discovery Academy staff visited the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.  Of the many things we took away from that trip was the desire to replicate the House System they are so famous for.  Similar to the houses in the Harry Potter books, each staff member and student is sorted into a distinct house, and that house becomes their family for the entire time they are with the school.  The houses meet quarterly to work on school spirit, character education, leadership, and more!  The goal of these houses are to build families within our Discovery family and to teach our young people that being a good person will always be more important than any educational standard they master in school.  Students earn House Points for their actions in school that go above and beyond, and those points go towards the race for the House Cup at the end of the year.  Please read below to find out about each of the houses, and we can't wait until your student is sorted into theirs!

House System Introduction for Parents

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Altruismo traces its origins to the rainforests of the Amazon, where a group of powerful Brazilians were given the name because of the Portuguese meaning behind it: “the Givers.”  This special group is known for striking a balance between bold strength and altruistic giving — a team that knows that real power comes not from looking out for yourself but from empowering others. They care deeply about lifting others up, but they also maintain a fiercely competitive spirit and pride. Historically, the House has been known for its smart and driven students, and Altruismo has produced more valedictorians per class to this day. Its members have been very involved in every club, committee, or activity that a school offers. Therefore, Altruismo takes great pride in being a cultivator of real leadership and instills a strong spirit within new members to grow into and live up to this legacy. 

Rêveur is a royal House whose name in French means “dreamers”, because the members who fill this group are students filled with freedom and wild abandon who recognize their dreams and will let nothing stand in the way of achieving them. This can be seen in the unicorn, which is on the center of the House’s crest, a powerful creature who is almost impossible to tame. Similarly, the House of Rêveur is a House of passion.  Rêveur is the natural rival of Altruismo, because in the early days of the House Championships, Altruismo beat Rêveur by a single point, and they held a winning streak over them for three years. In 2011-2012 school year, the wheel did not sort very many students into Rêveur, and so it became the smallest of the four Houses. But the staff House Leader, Ron Clark, rallied the students together and told them: “This year, because our House is smaller, we each have to be bigger. We each have to multiply ourselves this year!” And that was the year that Rêveur, despite being the smallest House, went on to win its first championship. This legend is now passed down to remind students that the size of the House is not as important as the size of the hearts and efforts of its members. 

Isibindi is a tight-knit group of individuals, like a pride of African lions, where family means everything. The House’s symbolic animals, the mute swan and the lion, serve to empower incoming members. While new students might be quiet or shy at first, the longer that they are in the House, the more they begin to display the characteristics of strength and bravery. In Zulu, Isibindi means “courage."  The dichotomy of sharing symbolic animals between the gentle and beautiful swan and the proud and courageous lion is what makes Isibindi so unique. It is a House that inherits the legend and influence of both Shaka Zulu as well as Nelson Mandela. It is a House that knows when to be strategic and creative, or when to pull back and be reserved, but also when to go full force with power and strength. This is why Isibindi welcomes creative and quiet kids and turns them into leaders over time. They learn that, like the mute swan, their quiet creativity can be harnessed to speak volumes in its own way.

Amistad is the House that originates from Mexico. A group of individuals that are quiet but powerful, they are known most for their kindness of heart. This is why, in the language of their ancestry, their name means “friendship.”  Incoming members are often a mix of extremes — our students can be extremely intelligent, creative, friendly, and competitive; Amistad is a very diverse group! The House takes great inspiration from its symbolic animal, the peacock, and the leaders always remind the members of this saying: “Once the peacock finds its feathers, it discovers who it really is.” The encouragement is for each student to find his or her own feathers and discover their brilliance. While students may enter timidly, they learn to become brave as they find their true selves.

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