Learn to build engagement and community remotely.
This fall, NYC public school students will return to school in an environment that includes blended and remote learning. This new structure will no doubt provide new challenges to educators and school leaders who want to ensure that their students stay engaged in their schoolwork and build strong relationships with their peers.
To help provide guidance in these challenging times, NYC Outward Bound Schools has a suite of virtual programming for schools that can supplement existing advisory and curriculum structures or help create new ones.
Programs for Students:
Virtual Community Building for Students
Though students may be physically distant, it’s important that they stay socially connected. Our NYC Outward Bound staff will facilitate a series of synchronous virtual community building activities for returning students, giving them the opportunity to reconnect with one another and strengthen their communication and collaboration skills in the virtual space. Activities range from check-ins, icebreakers and getting to know you activities, to team-building and SEL-oriented trust-building activities.
Duration of Partnership/Program: One 2-hour session (this program can also be conducted multiple times over the course of the year with different activities).
This program takes NYC Outward Bound Schools’ signature adventure and team building experience — Crew Expedition Fieldwork — and adapts it to the virtual environment. A Virtual Expedition encompasses a weeks-worth of synchronous virtual community building experiences for incoming 6th and 9th graders, so that they can adapt more quickly to their new schools and build trusting relationships with their peers and an advisor or teacher.
The program is designed to support students in getting to know each other and build a lasting sense of community, trust and belonging by working collaboratively on a common set of challenges. In this supportive environment, NYC Outward Bound Schools’ instructors encourage students to work together, learn new skills, take risks, and reflect on their experience.
Duration of Partnership/Program: One 1-hour teacher prep session + four 1-hour program sessions
Virtual School Coaching
Improve a specific aspect of your teaching practice and/or school culture with one-on-one or small group coaching via Zoom or another video conferencing platform. We offer virtual coaching in three high-impact, scalable Select Strategies:
- Crew: Crew is an advisory structure that builds character and academic skills through a combination of team building, student-centered academic support, conflict resolution and adventure.
- Project-Based Learning (PBL): PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by exploring authentic, engaging, and complex questions, problems or challenges.
- Student-Engaged Assessment: Student-engaged assessment is a strategy that helps students understand and take ownership of their own growth as learners, and may involve, for instance, student-led conferences in lieu of traditional parent-teacher conferences.
How it Works: A virtual strategic planning meeting is held to determine the goals and scope of the partnership work. Partners will then begin scheduling coaching hours, which can be full 7-hour days or strategically split up into smaller chunks. Coaching work might include observation and feedback cycles, curricular support, small group facilitation of professional learning, providing curated learning tools (best practices, protocols, rubrics, planning documents, etc.), and more.
Duration of Partnership/Program: Throughout the school year, ideally over the course of multiple years.
Virtual Community Building for Staff
NYC Outward Bound Schools staff will facilitate a series of synchronous virtual community building activities for staff, giving them the opportunity to reconnect with one another and strengthen their communication and collaboration skills in the virtual space.
Duration of Partnership/Program: One 2-hour session (with option to add on the Virtual Train the Trainer)
For Educators: Learn How to Build Community Among Students in a Virtual Environment
After participating in Virtual Community Building for Staff, schools may opt for their staff (or a subset of staff) to learn how to implement some of these activities and practices into their own virtual classrooms through a “Train the Trainer” session. Educators will learn best practices for building student communities in the virtual space.
Duration of Partnership/Program: One 2-hour session