A house system is a way to make a large high school feel smaller and increase the level of mentoring and pastoral care provided to students while increasing the number of student leadership opportunities.
The BL House System will be comprised of eight houses. Each house will have a dean, multiple mentors made up of BL staffulty, numerous student leaders, and a cross section of our student body. Each house will have around 125-150 students. Then the ratio of mentor to students in each mentor group will be approximately 1:25.
Bishop Lynch’s new house system will be in place for the 2019-20 school year. However, some initial implementation (like electing house student leaders) will take place this spring semester. The entire BL House System rollout will be phased in over the next few years.
The BL House System will allow for more personal connections between students of all grade levels and dedicated mentors. With this alternative alignment for student engagement, there will be increased peer-to-peer mentoring and leadership development opportunities. The house system approach also allows house deans and staffulty mentors to guide a student through the full four years of high school – providing continuity, resources and appropriate accompaniment through the student’s BL journey of education and faith. Bishop Lynch is much more than just a high school. BL’s mission is in part to promote the development of the total person and the house system structure will help accomplish this.
Bishop Lynch High School will be one of the first schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to debut a house system. In order to further our school’s mission of the development of the whole person, BL leaders visited house systems at private schools in various cities and have studied their models for best practices. However, the Bishop Lynch House System will be unique to BL in order to meet our particular student needs.
The mentor groups in each of the BL Houses will meet several times each week. Meetings will vary in length from short informational meet ups to longer service-oriented gatherings. House meetings will occur regularly, but not as frequently as the mentor groups. Our current advisory period will be transformed into mentor group meetings allowing for more connectedness among students and mentors. Classroom time will be minimally impacted by the house system.
Great question! The two house dean leaders and the eight house deans are BL staffulty across educational disciplines. These campus leaders were chosen for their commitment to student development, leadership experience and enthusiasm. Besides the 10 members of the BL House Council, a team of dedicated staffulty mentors will lead mentor groups.
Houses will be randomly assigned to students. Each house will have a mix of students from each gender, grade level, ethnicity, and extracurricular interest. Siblings will be assigned the same house for family continuity.
The houses are named after Dominican saints in honor of Bishop Lynch’s Dominican heritage. House colors, symbols, mottos, etc. will be determined with house member input. Many of these exciting details will be unveiled after the start of the 2019-20 school year!
Bishop Lynch will always be a “Friars First” home. We’ll always cheer for the BL Friar family first, then house affiliation second. As the BL House System develops, some friendly competitions will start to be held between houses versus only grade levels.
One of the great advantages of a Bishop Lynch High School education is the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience while on campus. With the BL House System, even more leadership opportunities will be available to our Friars! Each house will have its own student-led “government” and there will be ample time for peer-to-peer mentoring as well.
Studies show that academic performance is positively impacted when there’s an atmosphere of care and connection. With the BL House System, student care and connectedness will be amplified like never before! The house system model will address a student’s social and emotional learning, which is a vital educational component. Those so-called “soft skills” like cooperation and communication are imperative for college and career success, but their development is often lacking in our tech-focused world. The house system model is designed to fill this void.
Yes! Class-level camaraderie is an important part of high school. Students will still identify with their freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classmates. The BL House System just provides additional opportunities to get to know and learn from students in other grades. Placement in a house isn’t a replacement for one’s grade level – it’s a bonus! Within the house structure, students will be able to interact with a diverse cross section of the student body.
A collection of 125-150 diverse students across all grade levels. Led by a dean and student leaders, this group will collaborate on service learning projects, friendly competitions, and more. There will be eight houses in the BL House System.
A small group of approximately 25 students led by a faculty/staff mentor leader and student leaders. There will be six mentor groups per house. Mentor groups will meet several times each week and will benefit from peer-to-peer interaction.
A faculty/staff leader of a mentor group. This mentor leader role is designed to accompany a student throughout his/her four years at Bishop Lynch providing a continuity of pastoral care and mentoring.
It all started with a turkey and then turned into a tribute.
Frassati House Dean Beth Burau has become the craft champion for Bishop Lynch High School’s House System. Ms. Burau creates and organizes fun craft service projects for students in all houses to complete during mentor group time and house days. Ms. Burau then delivers the finished products to Children’s Medical Center and Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation to brighten patient meal trays.
Ms. Burau’s mother’s memory is the inspiration for these hands-on activities. Linda Burau was an art teacher and first had her students make cut-out paper turkeys for her hometown community Thanksgiving dinner back in the early to mid-1990s.
Blake Casner is a Bishop Lynch High School senior who’s very involved in a wide range of campus activities and has big plans for his future. Blake is the captain of both Angelico House and the men’s varsity soccer team. He’s a Bishop Lynch Ambassador and the president of Best Buddies.
Blake is also a huge proponent of the BL House System and is eager to share why he’s an early adopter of this paradigm shift for student alignment.
“Thanks to the BL House System, I’m seeing more camaraderie and spirit on campus. There’s more cheering and chanting and we’re all working for the Dominican Cup,” Blake said.
Blake acknowledges that the first year of the house system involves a bit of experimenting with mentor group activities and content. His favorite mentor time activity is going out on the football field with his group to let off a little steam. Blake recognizes the importance of regular mid-day brain breaks that mentor group time provides.
Faithful to Catholic Tradition and to our Dominican heritage of scholarship and service, Bishop Lynch High School promotes the development of the total person by bringing together a diverse community in a rigorous, college preparatory environment where students are taught to strive for excellence, seek truth, and work for justice in the world. - Founded in 1963