Crew at RCS!

May, 2015

What is Crew?

First introduced to students in Grades 3 - 6 in January of this year, CREW is a multi-age group of students who work together with an adult within our district. How is Crew productive for our students? Crew structures and routines help build personalized relationships with students in order to support their academic and personal successes. Learning targets in Crew focus on our Ripley Scholar Character Strengths of Curiosity, Self-Control, Optimism, Grit, Social Intelligence, Zest and Gratitude.

As we progress, Crew will be foundational to everything we do. Through Crew, teachers will craft exercises in which the work of any one student is dependent on the others. During the next year we plan to begin using Student Led Conferences; that will be a part of Crew and will include student portfolios and personal reflections. Being part of a Crew can also encourage positive interactions as teachers can raise the question of behavior in the context of its impact on the Crew. An emphasis on being part of the Crew does not mean conformity; rather students are encouraged to express themselves.

In the end, we thought you might like the perspective of our students and some Crew leaders, so please read on!

What's your favorite part of Crew?

What do you like best about Crew?

What did you like about the design challenge?

...and from a few of our Crew Leaders:


Our Ripley Scholar Character Scholar Strength of Gratitude was recently highlighted in Crew when our teams created posters, songs and skits to say thank you to our friend and head of the RCS cafeteria, Mrs. Sue Gambino. Mrs. Gambino, well loved by students and staff alike, will be retiring at the end of the school year. Pictured below are some of the posters made by our Crews!

Design Challenge!

Most recently the Crews had two activities. First, all Crews planted flowers and vegetables. Flowers were planted outside and around the school to beautify our landscape. Our vegetables were planted/potted in order to start these plants so they can later be grown in our summer garden.

The second crew activity was an engineering challenge. Given a limited and specific number of items, the crew (with only teacher supervision, not input) had to design a watering system for the plants in order to keep them hydrated for a few days at a time. This next group of pictures will give you some insight into the brainstorming process and their final products. It was interesting, as an outside observer, to listen as they brainstormed ideas that were then transformed into very diverse and unique systems.

Here's a look at two of our successful projects that are still watering the plants!

Thank you, Dr. Ormsby, for bringing Crew to Ripley Central School Elementary!