Collaborative Response - Targets for Implementation

There are two certainties that exist when it comes to the establishment and ongoing deepening of Collaborative Response at the school level:

  1. The model is complex - although it can be effectively summarized through the interrelatedness of the three essential components of collaborative structures and processes, data and evidence and continuum of supports, it is not a model that can be fully understood through a single exposure workshop, presentation or staff meeting. It involves many layers of complexity, evolving structures and processes and meshes a number of areas of educational research into a single framework. In short, it takes time and ongoing learning to fully understand the model and all its intricacies that emerge over time. For a synopsis of this “evolving process”, check out a keynote address at the 2019 CRM Conference, discussing the various phases of Collaborative Response (known at that time as a Collaborative Response Model) typically experienced in schools.
  2. There is no “one size fits all” - just as schools differ in a number of areas, such as grade configurations, staffing, community realities, physical space, student demographics and even more importantly, school culture, the model needs to be envisioned through each individual school lens. Even when districts engage in the model system-wide, it still needs to account for and understand that each school will have a different path to take and different priorities upon which to attend within the model. Although there are essential elements that we espouse as critical to the model to retain fidelity and greatest possible impact, the implementation process is one focused on learning, not just for individuals but organizations. As a school or district learns and grows through the model, new challenges, successes and impacts percolate to the surface.

With these two realities in mind, we have developed a Targets for Implementation Organizer, identifying possible targets for implementation for school’s to consider and plan for. This progression tool is not intended to be authoritative or a “to do” checklist. Rather, it is developed to promote thought and strategic planning when considering essential elements and key activities related to the establishment and ongoing refinement of the model.

Districts are encouraged to use this tool to help craft potential implementation guides for schools. As a system, different timelines or targets could be established, based on pre-existing structures or elements already established.

Schools can also use it for implementation planning, understanding that envisioning, then establishing, then deepening Collaborative Response is not a one-time event. It evolves over time and each implementation step leads to further learning, engagement and positive outcomes for students and staff members.

We hope this tool is a valuable resource for schools, districts and networks developing Collaborative Response frameworks in their organizations. Please email me at kurtis.hewson(at) if you have any questions, comments or other elements/activities that you feel should be added.

Author: Kurtis Hewson