A long established program easing the transition to high school has been building community among freshmen for 20 years.
At Palo Alto High School, entering freshmen have been provided with close connections with teachers and peers, smaller learning environments, field trips, project based learning, and innovative teachers.
The program is known as TEAM, or Together Everyone Achieves More.
“Our vision is a small community for freshmen where we really get to know them,” said biology teacher Liz Brimhall.
There is no application process for TEAM, students sign up for a lottery. Students have 3 core classes in English, history, and biology with the same teachers and group of students.
TEAM teachers are also advisors, and they meet during an advisory period once a week.
Teachers also share a common prep period, which they use to collaborate and work with guidance counselors or talk about their students with each other. They meet with parents and other teachers. The team knows what each other is doing, and they work together to support their students.