On Thursday, Aug. 30, Caliente Elementary held its first assembly of the new school year. The Parent Teacher Organization handed out birthday grams for students with birthdays in August. Parents can sign their child up for to receive one.

There was also a “wear your school shirt day.”

Two teachers went to the Ron Clark Academy this summer and learned about the “house” system that the academy, co-founded by Clark in 2007, is based on. Building on this, the Caliente students came together in three gyms, with each student in each grade receiving an envelope. Excited students tore open the envelopes to see what color band they had gotten and then went running to the house teacher. This went on until every student had a house. The bands were, Blue Team: Revere, The House of Dreamers, Red, Team: Amistad, The House of Friendship; Green Team: Izabindi, The House of Courage; and Black Team: Altruismo, The House of Givers.

The students were welcomed into their houses by the teachers/leaders and students chosen before them. It was hard to tell who was most excited about this new experience, the students or the teachers. The idea is to encourage a drive to thrive.