The LCHS House System is a completely new way of organizing our school. It is intended to give our students a place where meaningful relationships and connections can be formed, cultivated, and fostered. LCHS has four houses: Joseph House, Tekakwitha House, De Porres House, and Frassati House. All four houses are named after Saints who are represented in our chapel. The houses will also be competeing for the Great Crux, with points being awarded for academics, service, school spirit, athletics, and more. Essentially, the houses provide a space within the school day for each student to be treated and known as an individual. We are confident that our four houses will give our school a place where connections can be fostered between students and staff members alike, where each person is treated with dignity and respect.
- Fr. Paul Erickson, Director of Houses
Frassati House: Great Crux Champions, 2019
De Porres House
Why use the House System?
The House System provides a new structure of support for all of our students, giving them a place where they belong and can form meaningful relationships with one another and staff.
Where did the idea for the House System come from?
LCHS first got the idea from Franciscan University of Steubenville, which has been using a House System for 40 years. We the discovered a version of the House System in one of the colleges at Michigan State University, along with many other universities and high schools across the country. Archbishop Moeller High School, which has used the House System for many years, put on a conference about the House System over the summer of 2018, and a number of LCHS faculty and students went in order to learn and network with these other schools. This gave us the confidence to implement the system in the 2018-19 school year.
How is the House System organized?
Overseeing the entire system is Fr. Paul Erickson, our Director of Houses. Each house has a dean, responsible for the personality and well-being of an individual house. Each house is further subdivided in six rodzinka groups. Each rodzinka has a staff mentor teacher, 18-25 students, is a mix of all four grade levels, and is single-gender. Each house also has two Rodzinka Assistants who help provide support to the deans and the mentors in that house.
What is a rodzinka?
The word rodzinka is the name given to our small groups, taken from the life of our school patron, St. John Paul the Great. Before he was Pope, he was Fr. Karol Wojtyła, a simple parish priest in Kraków, Poland. During his time there, he began meeting with a group of about 20 young people. They would discuss philosophy, art, the virtues, and all things related to the Catholic faith. They began to call themselves a rodzinka, which in Polish means little family. The rodzinka is the heart and soul of our House System. Everything we do begins and ends in this little family and the connections that are built there provide the structure and support for our students to thrive.
How is rodzinka time used?
We enforce the "Empty Hands Policy" for rodzinka. This means that students are not to bring anything with them, no homework, projects, devices, etc. We do this because the whole point of the House System is to give students a spot without distractions, time set aside for building friendships and connections unencumbered by anything else. Sometimes the rodzinka will have discussions on various topics, sometimes they will be playing games, sometimes they may meet up with another rodzinka, or meet up as a whole house.
Do houses and rodzinkas change year-by-year?
No, these are meant to be permanent communities. Even after graduating, alumni of LCHS are still considered part of their particular house. The rodzinkas are also meant to be as permanent as possible. Staff changes, graduating seniors, and new students will mean that some changes happen every year, but there should be pretty low turnover from year to year within the rodzinka. Siblings will always be in the same house, but if they are LCHS students at the same time they will be in different rodzinkas.