"WE ARE CREW, NOT PASSENGERS"
This quote by Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound and an influential voice in Expeditionary Learning, is a guiding principle for building community and responsibility in Launch students.
Crew is our morning small group advisory program that meets four times per week. Students gather each morning in a circle to talk and learn about a range of important issues. Crew leaders are a primary source for communication with parents and students about academic and character progress at school.
Crew works on building student character through the exploration of Launch Habits of Heart and Mind. We started the year establishing norms for working with each other, and learning about who we are and how we learn. Studies include healthy food, stress management strategies, building positive friendships, the dangers of bullying, conflict resolution, community service, etc.
Monthly, we meet in the auditorium for Community Meeting. Each week, a new Crew hosts the meeting with two students as the MCs. Students have a great opportunity to practice oratorical skills and present in front of a large audience. They lead the Launch community through a weekly celebration of birthdays, an update from Principal Kilgore, a spotlight on academics and individual student accomplishments, and highlighting staff members.
The culminating experience of the year, for 6th Grade is Crew Orientation, a 5-day, overnight NYC Outward Bound Schools backpacking expedition in upstate New York. The trip helps new students develop community, trust, communication skills, and the determination to do far more than they ever thought possible.