San Diego Cooperative Charter School has a strong culture of innovation. Principal Wendy Ranck-Buhr gives teachers the freedom to try new ideas, and thus the staff members are not afraid of taking smart risks to advance student learning. As a case in point, teachers Kate Dickinson and Debbie Spellman-Smith wanted to create small “families” of students from different grade levels to help students build relationships with other students and adults they don’t normally interact with. To do this, Kate and Debbie conducted research at other schools that were already doing similar things. They were then able to create family groups that would spend a few days per month together on projects and activities from a wide variety of content areas. Now the school is expanding the family groups structure to their second campus.