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Partner with NYC Outward Bound Schools to build community and improve school culture.

​NYC Outward Bound Schools is recruiting up to 50 secondary schools to be part of its 2022 Crew Initiative cohort – a New York City Council initiative adopted by the city’s FY22 Department of Education budget. Schools that join the Crew Initiative will participate in a ​partnership ​with NYC Outward Bound Schools to build the capacity to successfully embed a Crew program and culture in their school communities​.

Crew is a signature advisory program in each NYC Outward Bound school as well as the schools within our national partner EL Education’s network. Crew is not only a structure that encourages academic and social-emotional growth among students, but it is also a school-wide culture and mindset. The spirit of “Crew, not passengers” — a phrase coined by Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn — demonstrates that we are stronger together than we are individually; that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Crew supports community-building across the entire school.

We have seen the power of Crew lead to more vibrant and connected school communities where every student is well-known and well cared for; where students’ identities are affirmed and valued. During the pandemic, Crew served as a social-emotional lifeline for students during an incredibly challenging and isolating year. Now that we’ve returned to the classroom, there is a critical need to re-engage students, rebuild relationships with new and returning members of the community, and move forward together.

Schools that join the 2022 Crew Initiative cohort will:

  • Build the structures to sustainably implement a Crew program and Crew spirit across the school
  • Be part of a collective of schools that examines how to best leverage Crew in order to build belonging, and problem-solve together to determine shared best practices
  • Engage in cohort-based activities with other partner schools both virtually and in-person at our Long Island City offices
  • Participate in pre- and post-partnership impact surveys


Crew is the signature advisory structure at all NYC Outward Bound Schools, and provides essential social-emotional support for students. Crews are made up of 10-16 students led by an adult Crew Advisor, often a teacher, and meet frequently — sometimes daily — at our schools. Many Crews stay intact throughout a student’s middle or high school career. 

Applications for the 2022 Crew Initiative cohort are now closed.


Is Crew Initiative right for your school? Here’s what we looked for in this year’s applicants:

The Bandwidth/Resource Allocation:

  • The willingness and capacity to take on a partnership with NYC Outward Bound Schools.
  • The schedule, staffing and space to support approximately 100 minutes per week of Crew time per student.
    • We work with schools that have existing advisory programs and with schools that don’t. We tailor our partnerships to meet schools where they are.
  • A staff member with the availability and support to lead this work and serve as Crew Guide.
    • This person will:
      • Train one-on-one with an NYC Outward Bound Schools coach to lead implementation of the Crew program.
      • Attend all cohort-wide convenings (which are scheduled periodically through the year).
      • Work with leadership and colleagues to help Crew come alive at their own school.

The Buy-In:

  • A school-wide commitment to the “Crew not passengers” ethos, which prioritizes caring for one another, supporting one another and working toward a common goal.
  • The need and desire for growth in the areas of social-emotional learning and community-building.
  • Staff who believe that supporting positive social-emotional outcomes is equally as important as supporting positive academic outcomes, and that the two are intertwined.
  • Shared leadership structures in place (teachers who are used to learning and collaborating together).

Crew was the tool that helped us meet the moment this past year. Learn more about its impact:

Crew has always been the backbone of our school, and during the pandemic, we really leaned into Crew. Very early on, we knew that the only way we were going to get through it was to lean on Crew. And in those Crew sessions, students connected with each other, shared their feelings, and were incredibly supportive of one another. The idea of ‘Crew not Passengers’ took on a new meaning. And it’s still more important than ever.

Tom Mullen

Principal, Leaders, a NYC Outward Bound School

Third-Party Study Demonstrates Crew's Impact on Student Attendance


Edutopia Highlights Remote Crew at MELS




Council Member Treyger Commends Crew at Leaders High School


For more information, contact:

Jessica Bardy, Director of Business Development
[email protected]
Office: (718) 706-9900 x130
Mobile: (917) 575-7400

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