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.
With the new year comes a new schedule for the Bishop Lynch House System! To give our mentors and mentor group student leadership ample time to plan weekly activities, the previous Monday mentor meeting time is now dedicated to house leadership collaboration. Students who don’t hold a house or mentor group leadership position can enjoy a little Friar free time to seek peer tutoring and do homework or to hang out with friends.
“The house system had a great debut semester, but we decided to make this schedule tweak to allow more time for planning between deans, mentors and student leaders,” said House System Director Jerry Waldon.
“This new Monday unstructured time still accomplishes a lot of what the BL House System is designed to do – encourage interaction among our entire student body and create opportunities for leadership development,” said Mr. Waldon.
The new Monday schedule is now in effect from 11:25-11:55 a.m. on school days.
Give me a P-R-A-Y-E-R! The Bishop Lynch House System kicked off the new semester with a prayer rally for all houses today in the Competition Gym. The rally was organized by the student House Council and the eight house chaplains.
Information was shared about each house’s patron saint or blessed, the various types of prayer (supplication, thanksgiving, meditative, etc.) were covered and then each house chaplain led a special prayer.
Since the house system’s third-quarter theme is prayer, the rally was the perfect launch for upcoming mentor group activities.
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