- Taking Initiative
During the pandemic, NYC Outward Bound Schools educators leaned heavily on Crew — a powerful advisory structure and school-wide culture utilized in our network schools and the schools in our national partner EL Education’s network — as a way to ensure that students were heard, cared for, and connected during unprecedented times.
The return to the classroom after 18 months of virtual and hybrid learning presented New York City public schools with a tremendous opportunity to rethink and rebuild school communities in more equitable and engaging ways — with a special emphasis on healing and moving forward together.
Enter Crew Initiative — a New York City Council initiative led by Speaker Corey Johnson and Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger and adopted by the de Blasio Administration in their FY22 city budget. Made possible by a $1.575 million grant from the City, Crew Initiative is a massive expansion of NYC Outward Bound Schools’ footprint, and will allow 50 NYC public schools build the capacity to implement Crew in their own school communities with the dedicated support of NYC Outward Bound Schools Crew Coaches.
Participating schools were identified and recruited with the support of the NYC Department of Education’s Office of the First Deputy Chancellor.
“NYC Outward Bound Schools is a crucial partner in building strong school cultures that nurture and enrich our young people,” said First Deputy Chancellor Donald Conyers. “NYC Outward Bound Crews provide students with a consistent support network with critical academic and social-emotional supports. We are truly lucky we can expand this program.”
School culture is really something I want to affect, and I feel like I’ve been given the tools at the exact right time. I’m excited to come at education from a totally different vantage point. I think this program is so necessary and timely, and will be the first step in rectifying the stagnation that the pandemic caused in many schools.
History Teacher, Eagle Academy for Young Men in Queens
“Students respond best to relationships. To the credit of NYC Outward Bound Schools, relationship building is centered on advancing positive academic and social outcomes, added long-time champion of Crew, Mark Treyger, NYC Council Member and Chair of the Education Committee. “‘We are in this together’ is not just a slogan — it is an applied practice each day in classrooms in NYC Outward Bound Schools, which is why I’m proud to have worked with Speaker Johnson in advancing a major budget victory to expand the program to more NYC schools.”
On October 28, Crew Initiative kicked off as more than 40 “Crew Guides” — educators who will be leading the implementation process at their schools — attended the first day of training to learn about the foundations of Crew and how it can be used to create more student-centered, culturally responsive communities.
“School culture is really something I want to affect, and I feel like I’ve been given the tools at the exact right time,” said Kevin Vieira, a history teacher at Eagle Academy for Young Men in Queens. “I’m excited to come at education from a totally different vantage point. I think this program is so necessary and timely, and will be the first step in rectifying the stagnation that the pandemic caused in many schools.”