Students being their day by dropping off their gear in their lockers and greeting their friends and teachers before heading off to grab a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is a time for students to get some fuel in their bodies before connecting and setting intentions for the work ahead.
After breakfast, students head to their Crews, a group of 15-18 students and one Crew Leader. This is their home base at school- it’s where they share about themselves, have experiences that deepen their understanding of who they are in the world, build confidence, connect to peers, take productive risks, and showcase skills and habits they are proud of. Crews have a daily check in, some community time, and some habits of mind exercises. Students work at their own pace during crew and showcase their growth on their own timelines. Crew Leaders are there to connect with students, coach them through learning experiences, and foster a strong Crew community.
After crew, students head to their core day classes. Depending on their schedules, they might start their days digging into a complex math problem in groups of four, set up their science inquiries that could last a couple of days, or participate in small group reading instruction in humanities. Students also engage in real world projects during their academic time. Teachers and students work together to ensure that every student is learning every day, that what they are learning is clear and concrete, and that students regularly get feedback on their progress.
After a few class periods, students head to lunch with their peers in the cafeteria. Students sit where they like and staff are there to informally connect with students and help to make sure we are all meeting our school expectations. When lunch is over students head to recess–a time for structured play, unstructured break time, or mindfulness, depending on student preference. Having a positive break in the day is important to a student’s mental stamina, so we devote time for recess each day.
Crew, Coaching and PEP
After all five academic periods, students return to their Crews for Coaching Crew and Personalized Enrichment Project (PEP) time. During this period, students set goals, advocate for academic help, and work on a structured project of interest to them. At PEP time, students decide what they learn, how they will demonstrate their knowledge, and set timelines they can work from. The Crew Leader is there to coach students through their learning, teach mini-lessons, and ensure that students are asking rigorous questions and producing their best work. Crewbies also work together during PEP time to offer feedback and learn from each other. We know that students do their best when the learn in community, at their own pace, and in their own ways, so we dedicate time every day for students to pursue their passions and deepen their skills in this way.
At the end of the day, students are escorted in their crews to their busses. After a full day of community building and learning, it’s time for high-fives, and to head out! On to another day of deep learning tomorrow!