Big Basin






Del Norte



El Capitan



Fire Fall


Click on a house image to see the house chant!


Frequently Asked Questions

Our Purpose: Why did we adopt the house system?  

Our reason for creating this environment is for two simple reasons: community and engagement.  The importance of building a cohesive and positive community where students are valued and appreciated cannot be stated enough.  Students, at any level, need to feel accepted and safe in order to learn.  This can be accomplished through building a positive and caring community.  The house system is one way to develop that community through cross grade level house meetings and then again at rallies. This will hopefully build a sense of belonging and togetherness.  The second reason for our “why” is engagement.  When students come to school knowing they belong and are accepted, they have a stronger desire to be here every day.  Engagement is when we create an environment on campus and in the classrooms where students are engaged in positive behaviors, which hopefully impacts their overall student achievement and reduces behavioral referrals. 

What is the house system?

When we explain our house system to new families, students or staff we often refer them to the “house” system displayed in the Harry Potter book series.  In the series, the main character in the book, Harry, attends Hogwarts School. At Hogwarts all of the students are broken up into four different “houses” or teams. In 2018-2019 another elementary school in Lodi Unified (Larson Elementary) adopted this idea from a school in Atlanta, Georgia (The Ron Clark Academy).  We have since taken this similar idea and adapted the concept to make it work for us at John Muir. 

Who will be included into the houses?

Houses include the following: students, teachers, office staff, custodial staff, administrative staff, support staff, and most of all your students.  In a nutshell, everyone is included! Students are broken up into 6 different houses: Firefall Wolves, Del Norte Owls, Calaveras Cougars, El Capitan Rams, Big Basin Bears, Alpine Elks.

When do meetings and rallies happen?  

House meetings occur every Wednesday on a regular day schedule with a full week (no Holidays).  House rallies occur once a month on our Common Planning Days (minimum day schedule). 

What do meetings and rallies look like?

The house meetings include students separated into their 6 houses (grades K-6) for 30 minutes to discuss one or more of our character traits listed in the 24-to-S.O.A.R. The House Meetings include practicing a house chant, a lesson focused on traits in 24-to-S.O.A.R., and sometimes an ice breaker.  The house rallies include all of the houses meeting together for 30 minutes to continue to build on that community by creating an exciting atmosphere to engage the students.  Students will demonstrate their house chants for all others to hear, participate in a game, and watch an inspiring video created with John Muir students.   

How can a student earn a house point?

Students can earn house points by demonstrating behaviors identified in our 24 – to - S.O.A.R. or behaviors listed in our behavior expectations matrix.  For example, if a student greets others by their name an (#11) or they hold the door open for others (#15).  Also, if a student picks up trash that wasn’t theirs (under Cafeteria and Organized of the behavior matrix) and it is observed they may also earn a house point.  Please refer to the S.O.A.R. behavior expectations matrix and the 24 – to - S.O.A.R. list of interpersonal traits. 

How did we choose our house names?

Our namesake, John Muir, was a naturalist in the 1800’s and is most known for founding the Sierra Club along with many other accomplishments.  Based on our school history and John Muir, we elected to stay with the theme of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  Each house name reflects geographical areas from the coastal region all the way to the mountains.