At Gateway High School, we have taken steps this year to make our large comprehensive high school feel like a tight knit community. Perhaps no step has been more significant than the design of our grade-level student support teams. Beginning this year, our four grade-level teams -- each consisting of an assistant principal, dean, counselor, progress monitor, and Communities in Schools coordinator -- meet weekly to monitor students’ progress, review staff referrals, and coordinate support services. The design of these teams has been instrumental to our success this year for several reasons. First, the grade-level structure enables team members to focus on forming close relationships with students in their respective classes that only deepen throughout the year. Research suggests that students who have a close relationship with at least one staff member demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and performance; the opportunity to develop close relationships with the entire grade-level team, including school administrators, is a tremendous asset that can be continually leveraged throughout a student’s high school career. Second, in a school our size communication is key. The team approach ensures that all members of the student support team have ample opportunity to collaborate on both preventative programming and reactive interventions. This multi-tiered system of support ensures that every student is “seen” and that no one falls through the cracks. Finally, our new team approach enables our dedicated staff to serve as grade-level “specialists” prepared to support students at each unique stage of their high school careers. As our students grow and evolve, so do their academic, social-emotional and post-secondary needs. Therefore, rather than have our support staff be responsible for the entire building, our teams can focus squarely on the grade-specific needs of their students and ensure they have timely access to the resources they need to be successful. Gateway’s support staff have a deep, abiding commitment to helping our students achieve their educational goals, whatever they may be. We work hard every day to ensure Gateway is the school our students deserve, and while change is not always easy, our grade-level teams are working together to make the transition as smooth as possible for our students and their families.