House and Crew
Throughout Principia, establishing a close-knit sense of family is of paramount importance. Our student-centered House and Crew initiative is designed to help children connect to their school community, feel well known, have resources for their support and success, and feel a sense of belonging.
Early steps to develop friendships, communication skills, and confidence take place within each grade level—as students learn, work, and play together. And that’s as far as most schools go. At Principia, we take the concept and practice of community further with the House system in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Together, these mentored groups provide opportunities within grades and across grade levels for students to expand their social networks, gain additional support, work through challenges, and take on leadership roles.
Here’s a quick summary of how House and Crew works at each level of the School.
Houses (Lower through Upper School)
Houses are the main multi-grade groupings at these levels and provide a deeper sense of community and support within the school. Students remain in the same House and Crew during their time at each level and siblings are always in the same House. Every House includes boys and girls and is supported by an adult leader or two.
At each level of the School, the Houses (as well as their role within the program) are unique.
In the four Lower School Houses, students work together on projects and community service work throughout the year. They also engage in House competitions that are geared towards giving to both the School community and the broader community.
In the three Middle School Houses, students host social events and support specific school activities. They also engage in intramural competition—both artistic and athletic. Leadership opportunities increase in the Middle School where each House has student captains.
In the four Upper School Houses, students develop collegial and mentoring relationships as they participate in competitions and school-spirit activities. Within each House, students serve on committees such as Home, Competition, Communication, Christian Science, Spirit, and Academics. There are class representatives at each grade level who serve as the cabinet of the House. Leadership opportunities increase further in Upper School, where each House has two senior captains and a senior class representative.
Upper School Crews (Upper School)
While Houses span all four grades, Crews are grade specific.
Each Crew consists of 7–8 students (boys and girls) backed by two adult Crew leaders. Students remain in the same House and Crew throughout their Upper School years. The small size of Crews means that adult leaders get to know each student individually, in a context beyond academics or athletics—and students also build close bonds within their grade.
Throughout the school year, individual Crews plan, organize, and/or support a variety of activities ranging from fall character trips to on-campus social activities. All Crew members serve in various leadership roles, within the comfort of their own peer group. This, in turn, prepares them for House-wide responsibilities as upperclassmen, as they grow in confidence and ability.
Lower School Crews
While Houses mix kindergarten through fifth grade students within four large groups, Crews allow students to get to know a smaller group of peers on a more individual level. Sixteen Crews, each led by a Lower School faculty member, are composed of students from each of the grade levels. These small, family-like groups allow students to engage in projects and leadership opportunities where students build strong bonds across the Lower School and practice their leadership skills.