New homeroom system promotes community building across grade levels

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Staff photo

A group of students in Homeroom 33 play Uno during homeroom one morning in August. Other activities throughout the year have included making Tik Tok videos, playing Halloween games, and a Homecoming costume contest.

Marie Reichard, Staff Writer

Covid offered a wave of opportunities to reassess a lot of traditional ways of doing things, not only in life, but also at St. Pius X. One of these things is our traditional homeroom system. For years, that block of time was primarily used to gather students from the same grade level to distribute important information. This year, however, the school decided to shift the purpose of homeroom to make it more focused on community building and give the Lion Leaders more opportunities for both leadership and ownership of homeroom. 

Science teacher Ms. Melissa Beam, Director of Enrollment Mr. Aaron Parr, and Assistant Director of Enrollment Mrs. Molly Wack manage homeroom, and they see a lot of potential benefits with this new system. 

“This way of homeroom I think has more intentionality and purpose,” Mr. Parr said. “It gives them [the Lion Leaders] the opportunity to kind of take ownership of their homeroom and teach them [the younger kids] about Pius culture.”

He believes that this new way of organizing will also help build a stronger school community. 

“As kids become sophomores, juniors, and seniors, they get to know each other better because they’ve been with those same kids in homeroom,” Mr. Parr said. “So I think maybe stronger relationships will be formed.” 

As senior Lion Leader Kate McBride said, “[We] provide a community where anyone who is confused or struggling can get help.” 

After two months of using this new system, Mr. Parr said he’s already seen positive results. 

“This one we had, last Friday [August 27, 2021], was really good,” he said. “We were actually walking around and kids were doing really fun activities [and] having a good time. One homeroom was dancing.” 

In addition to more opportunities for leadership, underclassmen benefit from the new structure of homeroom as well. “It’s no pressure because you don’t have any assignments and you just are with all grades, and so it’s just a good special class,” freshman Ruby Nelms said. 

I feel like I am trying to make their experience better, which is making me better as a person.”

— Senior Angelina Planas

Sophomore Annie Yantis agreed, saying, “Homeroom is calming because it’s a nice start to your morning.” 

Instead of just sitting in homeroom as a collection point like years past, we now use it to help engage students in fun activities. For example, students have picked a saint for their homeroom, played card games, and had a homecoming costume contest. 

Another element is the opportunity to compete throughout the year and win points for individual homerooms. For example, Homeroom 33 won the Homecoming competition where they earned the highest score for decorating their classroom door, finding pictures of Father Michael scattered throughout the school, and filming a TikTok to the song “We’re All In This Together” from “High School Musical.” 

Throughout the year, the Lion Leaders have been working hard to create an entertaining and relaxed environment. 

“I feel silly because I end up being the one who talks the most, but it’s kind of fun because it vibes with my personality half the time,” McBride said. “I hope they see that the upperclassmen are not as scary as they claim us to be.” 

Senior Lion Leader Angelina Planas said, “I feel like I am trying to make their experience better, which is making me better as a person. I am the one that has to like say a lot of things. Sometimes, it’s hard to bring excitement, but other times, people actually like to get into like games and stuff like that and it gets fun and it just makes my job easier.” 

Homeroom will continue to provide fun ways for all grades to come together and create meaningful relationships and memories that will enhance their high school experience.