We Are Crew, Not Passengers!

Our first two days of school at Brooklyn Collaborative

How do we start the year at Brooklyn Collaborative?

Dear Families,


As students were exiting the building on Thursday, Amanda asked one 7th grader how the first day of school was. "It was awesome, the best first day ever," he replied, "because I was with my crew!"


As you may know, each fall we start our school year with a few days of, "all crew days." These days are foundational to our work building community. Take a look at the photos below to see what went on in crew. Major kudos to all our staff crew leaders who worked tirelessly to plan such rich crew days for our students.


Below you will see pictures of circles, of team building initiatives, or crewlympics and more in grades 6-12. These pictures are only a small snapshot of what went on in crew last week. We encourage you to ask your child how they spent their first few days in crew.

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Why Crew?

EL Education defines character as having two facets-relational character and performance character. Relational character skills are essential for positive collaboration, ethical interaction, appropriate participation, and personal responsibility for actions (e.g., kindness, honesty, integrity). Performance character skills (habits of scholarship) are needed to obtain a standard of excellence in academic or real-world endeavors (e.g., organization, perseverance, craftsmanship). Both types of character are essential for success in school and in life. Fostering character is not an add-on in EL schools-it is embedded in all aspects of the school culture and permeates academic studies. Character is a focus all day long. Academic learning in EL schools is seen not as an end to itself, but rather in service of preparing students and adults to contribute to a better world. Therefore, all learning is character-based. Students are on a mission to do good work: work that is good in quality, good for the soul, and good for the world. (EL Core Practice 26)


In an EL Education school culture is planned for, developed, and sustained through practices that bring the community together, promote shared understandings, and encourage all community members to become crew, not passengers. Students in EL schools are known well and supported by adults. The structure of crew allows for relationship building, academic progress monitoring, and character development. Crew allows students to build positive connections with their peers and with their crew leader. Crew leaders strategically plan crew to address and assess these multiple goals. (Core Practice 27)

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