Switch to Class System Leads to Boost in Spirit


Zara S

Although the four houses may not exist anymore, ASB has already started hosting competitions between classes on the ASB Instagram page @portola.asb. Classes can earn points if they win, which will go toward winning the house cup at the end of the year.

Zara Shirwany, Staff Writer

The new class system is officially in place this year, replacing the house system that was used in prior years now that all four classes have had a chance to experience being a part of one of the four houses. Although it may seem like a big change, many traditions will remain the same such as competition between groups and a class cup at the end of the year.

When Portola High was founded in 2016, the Leadership Team, made up of the founding staff members and faculty, split the student body into four houses: Hercules, Orion, Pegasus and Poseidon, according to principal John Pehrson. 

According to senior and co-spirit and rally commissioner Kai Wong, this worked well since it allowed for bonding between the different grade levels later on, but in the end it was only a temporary solution until there were students of each grade level.

“For what it has done for the first four years, the house system was a great temporary fix, but … now that we have a more traditional sense of high school, I think students are happier,” Wong said.

In the end, the switch was made for a number of reasons, the most important being that students would feel more comfortable being able to show school spirit and get to spend pep rallies with their friends and other students in their grade level, according to junior class president and junior Amitoj Singh.

“We’ve been with our friends since middle school, and if not middle school, then since at least freshman year, so there’s a more tight bond already formed with the class system,” Singh said. 

While online learning has been an unexpected obstacle during the transition, ASB members ensured that every student can still celebrate their school spirit by adapting the first pep rally to an online format that was viewed during advisement.

  “The biggest thing [students] should look forward to [this year] is competition, especially because last year we know that a lot of people weren’t really into the house system… I think that kind of [sense of class pride] is going to be present for the first time in Portola, and I’m really excited to see that happen,” ASB president and senior Jun Kim said.