MISSOULA — Wednesday was the first day back to school at Russell Elementary School and their new principal was taking part in his first sorting ceremony, a la Harry Potter.
It's a first day tradition at Russell that builds camaraderie and community amongst students and staff.
"Russell has something really unique that's kind of based on the Harry Potter houses and the idea is that every student and every staff member when they come to Russell get to spin a wheel and they get sorted into one of the six houses and our houses rather than Slitheran or Hufflepuff are integrity tenacity gratitude and six different virtues, Principal Peter Halloran said.
Houses include all grade levels which gives students the chance to get to know and bond with others they wouldn't be spending that time with.
"It's easy to get to know your own grade level you know you go to recess with them and lunch with them, but building that continuity from kindergarten to fifth grade I think is just another level of community -- another level of people kids looking out for each other," Halloran said.
At the end of the day, the new teachers were sorted into their new houses with plenty of energy and excitement. It's also a great way to get to know future students
"So that's one of my favorite things about the houses is that we can meet kids in Kindergarten and then eventually they will be in our classrooms that are in our house," fourth grade teacher Jenna Seaman explained.
"It's like you get to build those relationships and when you see kids in the hall way they’ll wave and do our secret signals stuff like that," she added.