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We are Crew, Not Passengers, Joining Together on Powerful and Purposeful Journeys

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    Alexis Margolin

Crew is two things:

  1. It is a structure. A group of students who meet together to support each other and push each other in school, and life.
  2. It is a spirit, a way of being. To be "Crew" means to pitch in to help each other, to step up and take responsibility for everyone's well being around you.

As we prepare to launch our new name, we’ll continue to strive to bring our national family together under the continuing theme, “#WeAreCrew,” highlighting our motto: We Are Crew, Not Passengers.

Across our network of schools, partners, and EL staff, Crew can take on a variety of forms. And in fact, depending on how and where the practice of Crew is applied, it is often molded into a philosophy and a practice that best serves the unique needs of each respective school, district, or peer community.

So what exactly does it mean to be Crew?

Crew in School
Crew is a ritual, a coming together, and the creation of a close-knit student community. An integral part of the EL Education model, each school in our network brings students together in a consistent and supportive group. Crew is a place where character education, adventure, and team building are intentional, assuring success for all students. It’s a structure that fosters a sense of belonging within students, and a place where they can be their best selves while lifting up their peers to achieve more than they think possible.

Crew provides each student a one-to-one relationship with an adult advisor (Crew leader) at school, as well as a consistent and ongoing small-scale peer community. Crew meetings are frequently used for teambuilding exercises and for group discussions on topical issues. These exercises and discussions help establish Crew identity and a positive school culture.

“It’s your family. They make sure you stay on track as a scholar and as a person.” - EL Education Chief Academic Officer Ron Berger on Crew

“Crew has been a constant for me in my life. It takes a while for me to let people in, so having people around for four years and I didn’t have a fear of them leaving me, it was really nice to come to every morning.” - Graduating senior, The Springfield Renaissance School

EL Education and Crew Culture
Crew isn’t only for students. The spirit of Crew can be observed across the EL network, among school leaders and teachers, as well among our national staff. At EL Education, the spirit of Crew is one of the most important tenets of our organizational culture and character.

“We are together in this ‘boat’ and all are included and needed to reach our destination. A sense of belonging to a larger purpose than oneself is felt and celebrated as we embark on journeys that truly matter to the world.”
- Jennifer Bond, School Designer, EL Education

“Crew means pulling together, thinking together and supporting each other to do things bigger and better than we all thought possible.”
- Jon Mann, Mountain Region Director, EL Education

Join the Movement
Follow #WeAreCrew and show us what Crew means to you by sharing your favorite moments, quotes, and photos on Twitter and Instagram.