The team process is what sets ACE apart from other similar collaborative initiatives. The work of Alignment is organized and conducted by Alignment Teams (A-Teams). These specialized teams are led by community members and public school management who bring a diversity of expertise and a passion for public education. The teams are overseen by the Alignment Operating Board, their effort is guided by objectives, and their results are systematically evaluated. The team process includes five phases:
1. Tactical Planning – In response to an unmet student need, the team conducts research and creates a detailed plan to implement a pilot project that includes measures of effectiveness.
2. Community Engagement – Through an invitation to participate, community organizations are asked to join in the implementation of pilot programs.
3. Implementation and Evaluation – Communications between pilot program agencies and the team ensures implementation fidelity and accountability. Effectiveness is regularly evaluated.
4. Scaling Up – Based on early success, the pilot is extended beyond the original scope.
5. Institutionalization – Once measured to be effective on a large scale, the program becomes integrated within the U-46 District structure.