Build team-based schools in California

Transform teaching and learning with team-based school staffing models that can support equity, improve learning outcomes and boost morale


We must meet the challenge of our times. Our education system does not reliably deliver quality learning experiences for nearly enough people. In fact, it systematically underdelivers for students of color and for students from low-income backgrounds. This challenge is exacerbated by teachers leaving the profession, while others choose not to join the profession. As schools struggle to staff adequately and provide high-quality experiences, consider: What if we don’t have a teacher shortage or preparation problem, but rather, a workforce design problem?


A new grant will provide direct assistance, coaching and professional learning to California schools interested in exploring and launching team-based models that can provide personalized and deeper learning for students.


The Next Education Workforce initiative of Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Thrive have joined to help your school pilot, design and implement innovative staffing models by launching at least one educator team. Pairing relevant learning with 1:1 coaching increases success and satisfaction when committing to transformational work. Grantees receive support from ASU and Thrive in two ways:

  1. Professional learning: ASU will provide virtual learning cohorts, access to tools and resources, and other professional learning opportunities for system-level leaders, school-level leaders and classroom educators to explore, plan and launch team-based staffing models.
  2. Local, personalized coaching: Thrive will provide both virtual and on-site personalized support to each school based on their local context.

Ready to apply?

California school and system leaders are invited to complete an application to participate and receive direct assistance, coaching and professional learning.

Why redesign how we staff schools?
  • Most early-career teachers are surviving, not thriving
  • Delivering deeper and personalized learning for all students is nearly impossible when working alone
  • Teaching remains an isolating profession and teachers lack opportunity to collaborate and the autonomy typically given to members of other professions
  • On the whole, the educator workforce lacks the rich diversity of the students it serves

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How do we create more dynamic staffing models?

One solution will not address all of the challenges listed above. However, we believe that teams of educators can work together to deliver better outcomes for learners and make the job of teaching more rewarding.

Each educator brings a set of unique skills and strengths. Some are better at communicating with families; others excel at building class culture or data-driven instruction. Team-based models allow educators to lean into their strengths. Furthermore, if an educator is absent, the team can dynamically adjust to minimize disruptions to learning.

Team-based staffing models also create new opportunities for role differentiation and specialization. Schools building these models have created lead teacher positions; designed new roles for paraeducators, part-time and retired teachers; and created sustainable, paid teacher residencies. Models look different in elementary and secondary environments. And differently in rural and urban communities. Context drives the design.

View school spotlights to learn how different schools are applying elements of the Next Education Workforce.

Where can I learn more about Next Education Workforce models?

To build the Next Education Workforce, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College works with schools and other partners to 1) provide all students with deeper and personalized learning by building teams of educators with distributed expertise, and 2) empower educators by developing better ways to enter the profession, specialize and advance. Explore this collection to learn more about the elements of Next Education Workforce models.


How can I explore or launch a Next Education Workforce model?

California school and system leaders are invited to submit an application to receive direct assistance, coaching and professional learning from ASU and Thrive.

Who do I contact to learn more?

Please reach out to:

Liam Honigsberg:

Nicole Assisi:

Professional learning for participating schools

Dozens of schools have successfully implemented Next Education Workforce team-based models and developed innovative staffing models in order to support equity, improve learning outcomes and increase teacher satisfaction. During the 2023–2025 school years, a new wave of schools in California will join them. Below are just a few of the opportunities system and school leaders will participate in. See this flyer for additional details and support, including virtual coaching and on-site planning.