Essential Elements of a Collaborative Team Meeting

The Collaborative Team Meeting (CTM) serves as the starting place for many schools seriously looking at ensuring success for all students through a Collaborative Response Model, . The CTM becomes the forum for examining and discussing OUR students and ensuring that there is a school response for students at-risk. This does not alleviate responsibility from the classroom teacher or diminish their role in supporting students but rather serves as the school support structure to place a team around the student (and in essence the classroom teacher).

Ideally, a CTM should be happening every 4-6 weeks, with teams that are determined by the context and configuration of the school. We’ve worked in and with schools where collaborative team meetings have taken place:

  • in grade levels (ie. grade 4)
  • in cross-grade levels (ie. grade 2/3)
  • in divisions (ie division 2 – grades 4-6)
  • in student pods (ie. students divided into groups of 50 students at various grade levels)
  • by subject area (ie. Mathematics) – this is primarily in junior/senior high contexts and our experience is that schools that start in this team meeting configuration often revert to a student pod model, as supports typically need to be put in place that extend beyond a single subject area
  • We have developed a Google Form where we invite schools to share how they provide embedded time for teams in their school. A collection of responses is also available.

The essential elements of a collaborative team meeting are:

  1. Focus on a common goal
  2. Action oriented
  3. Maximum staff involvement
  4. Time embedded in the school timetable and calendar
  5. Formalized process
  6. Visual display of students
  7. Team meeting notes and tasks
  8. Team meeting norms

We have developed an Essential Elements Rubric for Collaborative Team Meetings that can be a useful self-assessment tool for schools establishing CTMs, providing directions for next steps as a school.

Best of luck and as Nike’s slogan proclaims – “Just do it”! Set up a collaborative team meeting structure and just start talking about kids. You will find it will have a powerful impact as staff in schools work together to support students!

Adapted from a previous posting – originally published September 26, 2011

Author: Kurtis Hewson