The Geneva School House System
The Geneva School upper school house system is a way of facilitating student culture and student government by organizing all of the 7th—12th grade students into one of four houses. Each house has approximately the same number of students, with a relatively equal distribution of age and gender. Students remain part of the same house during their time in the upper school and siblings are placed in the same house as one another. In addition, upper school faculty and staff also belong to a house.
The overarching goal of the house system at Geneva is to promote both unity and diversity. While the students in the upper school are typically quite active, both in curricular and co-curricular activities, it is the school’s desire that they spend time together, across all the upper school grade levels, so that older students can mentor younger students, helping to set a tone for what it means to be a student at Geneva. This creates an upper school community that is a unified whole rather than a collection of grade levels that have little to do with one another. It also encourages diversity, allowing students to find ways of sharing their talents and personalities with the school in ways that benefit the community. By shrinking the upper school community into four groups that participate in common activities, students are encouraged to take on roles of service, participation, and leadership.
Students meet formally and informally in their houses throughout the school year. Some events, like field days, are filled with spirited competitions and games as the houses compete for the annual House Cup. Other events, such as extended lunches, are times for students to gather and enjoy time together over food and conversation.