Holy Spirit Catholic School
Faith † Academics † Service
What are Spirit Families?
Spirit Families are our version of the house system. The purpose of each family is to guide and support the academic, spiritual, social and personal development of each student. Spirit Families will consist of a group of students who work together and support each other as they grow in faith as well as social and character development. Each family is named after a spiritual mentor. To find out about the families, click here.
Why is HSCS implementing Spirit Families?
Our drive to create Spirit Families for HSCS stems from three reasons: community, engagement, and reinforcement. HSCS has a long-standing tradition of being a community, often described as a family. In the past, our older students have interacted with our younger students as reading buddies. Teachers and parents have expressed that they would like to see more of this type of interaction. Moreover, we are seeing more and more challenges with students feeling disconnected and not having the same community feeling. As our enrollment increases, we want to maintain a positive and caring community, where students feel accepted and safe. Our Spirit Families are one way to create such communities and increase interaction through cross-grade level groups designed to strengthen the sense of belonging and togetherness that has been a hallmark of our school since its inception.
Our second “why” is engagement. When students come to school knowing they belong and are accepted, they have a stronger desire to be here every day. Engagement is when we create an environment on campus and in the classrooms where students are engaged in positive behaviors, which hopefully impacts their overall student achievement and reduces behavioral referrals. In the past, we have used the Gotcha system to help reward positive behavior. This system was limiting and often rewarded the same students over and over again. Spirit Families change this concept and reward student behavior by earning points for their family. So all students who earned points within the family will be recognized and not just those who were randomly pulled as was done in the Gotcha system. Families then will earn recognition at quarter and at the end of the year, and not just the top points. Improvement, participation, and effort will also be rewarded in recognizing Families.
Lastly, the reason for implementing this system is to positively reinforce the spiritual, behavioral, and emotional skills we want our students to know. They will be able to model what they are learning and not just among peers but in a multi-age community. Moreover, our students need a break from always being in with the same students in their grade level. The Spirit Families will allow them to learn to be a part of something bigger than themselves and their class, and to learn to work together for the greater good of all.
How do these Spirit Families support our mission?
The mission of Holy Spirit Catholic school is to create a nurturing environment and to develop our students' social, emotional, and moral development. We value giving our students a relationship with God, excellence in academics, community, respect, discipline, accountability, and leadership. Spirit Families are a way in which our students can learn and practice what we value and strive to achieve. The foundations or keys to success are what our Spirit Families are evaluated on. We use these keys to talk about behavior, character, work ethic and self-discipline.