All students are required to participate in a crew advisory every semester that they are attending classes at Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School. All faculty members are assigned a crew advisory.
Crews are teams of students who meet four days per week with a McCown faculty member to discuss academic, social and behavior issues, read and discuss literature, organize material for portfolios, work together on service projects, and build a strong school culture. Crew sessions are also used to reinforce the reading, writing, and organizational skills that will be required in other classes.
While crew is used to promote habits of working and learning, it is also a credit-bearing course. Crew advisory is graded using the following letter grades:
The content of each course varies depending on where students are as they progress through high school. Fall semester of freshman year, for example, aims to help students adjust from middle school to high school, while junior and senior courses focus on applying to college and career readiness.
During the first semester of crew, students learn to break out of their comfort zone and get to know their fellow crew members during an orientation at the Alley Pond Adventure Course where teamwork and agility skills are worked upon.
Student Led Conferences
For most parents, the highlight of each semester is the student led conference, in which students put together a portfolio showcasing their best work from the term and work highlighting their needs going forward. Unlike a parent/teacher conference, students facilitate the conversation, while parents and the crew advisory add to the discussion. Parents in the past have found these extremely valuable and appreciated the chance to get involved in their child's schooling in a way that does not happen in any other high school on Staten Island.