Crew is a student support system consisting of a group of 5 to 7 students and a teacher. Crew provides homework help, college application aids, and a general safe space for students to feel welcomed and accepted.
The system put in place by WHEELS created separation and little communication methods among students, faculty, and other stakeholders. I worked with student and faculty from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) to create a communication system involving "crews" that allowed for the flow of information and ideas in this large and diverse community.
We worked closely with the student and faculty at WHEELS to discover the values, goals, and needs of crew and WHEELS. Through participatory research and collaboration, we were able to discover that the crew program needed effcient and fast communication, organized means of exchanging ideas, and delegated times to regroup.
To test run our new system, the students created a campaign titled Dear Betsy. Students all designed and wrote postcards to the secretary of education, Betsey DeVos, to voice their opinions on a variety of issues such as guns in schools, facilities and their conditions, and much more. Over 300 postcards were sent to her, a massive success. The students, faculty, adminstation, and community were able to successfully exchange ideas, get approvals, communicate needs, and produce a campaign that brought everyone together.