Our student body at St. John's Academy is grouped into three 'Great Houses' - the House of Jerusalem, the House of Alexandria, and the House of Constantinople - which bring together students of all ages and grades for social activities, community work, and supportive friendships.
The Great Houses program serves to enhance fellowship and camaraderie among St. John's students.
The 'Great Houses' bare the names of three great centers of early Christian culture: Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. Each student, Grades 2-12, is assigned membership into one of the Houses and remains identified with this House throughout his or her educational career at St. John’s Orthodox Academy.
Note: K-1 students are part of what is known as “The Pond” until entering 2nd grade. Although The Pond does not participate in the competitions, they play an integral supporting role of encouraging the older students.
Throughout the year, the Houses are engaged in a friendly, ongoing rivalry with each other as they compete for points in a competition that records their overall excellence in three specific areas of virtue: academics ('Logos'), behavior ('Sophia'), and a broader category of politeness, courtesy, and community service ('Agape').
To demonstrate ‘Logos,’ every Friday, the members of the Houses sit together to listen to spiritual readings or to participate in “House Competitions,” when members of each House demonstrate their academic prowess in a friendly subject-based competition. Each semester, an “I Know” contest is held, a quiz-bowl type competition covering all the academic subjects.
To demonstrate ‘Sophia/Agape,’ students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their athletic abilities, sportsmanship, and house spirit during the “Field Days,” held during the first and last weeks of school. Likewise, the Houses are each assigned a “Service Day” during the week when they are asked to serve lunch to the wider school community, as well as to clean up afterwards. Furthermore, points can be awarded for any act of an individual House member which demonstrates a spirit of community service, courtesy, or politeness. Scores are recorded, points calculated, and a prize is decided upon by the winning House at the end of the year.
A special feature of each school year is 'Spirit Week', when the normal St. John's Academy school uniforms are embellished by House colors and designs, and a series of spirit-building activities mark out a week of festivities.