Going Deeper in Collaborative Team Meetings Idea #2 – Establish an Annual Calendar

This posting is part of a series, aimed at sharing high-impact ideas and practices for consideration in relation to Collaborative Team Meetings.

In order for collaborative team meetings to be seen as a regular, embedded structure essential to a school’s multi-layered Collaborative Response Model, they need to be established in an annual school calendar. A lesson that we learned early on, establishing an annual calendar that clearly delineates when collaborative team meetings are happening during the year accomplishes a number of things:

  • Allows teams and all those involved to know in advance when these critical meetings are happening and to ensure that other activities and personal tasks are scheduled around them (as best as possible)
  • Creates a stronger opportunity to plan for additional external supports to be present in the collaborative conversation and provide insights into possible responses to be considered.
  • Ensures appropriate spacing (we generally advise every 3-6 weeks) between these meetings to help determine if interventions, strategies and accommodations being put in place are having an impact.

Here are some ideas and examples to consider when establishing the annual calendar:

Create a summary:

Developing a summary, as seen in the example below from Oski Pasikoniwew Kamik School, can provide a quick overview of when collaborative team meetings are intended to happen for all teams, to allow for planning for who will (or can be) participating.

Click on the sample to access a view-only Google Doc version

Align with Assessment Administration:

Set up the calendar of collaborative team meetings to align with the administration of benchmark or universal screen administration times, to ensure that recent student data can help inform the conversation and flag who to potentially be discussing. View a sample below that have collaborative team meetings aligned with three established literacy benchmarking periods during the year.

Click on the image to open a PDF version

Develop a weekly overview:

Showing a weekly overview of what professional learning and conversations a team will be focusing on each week, if weekly collaboration time is provided, can provide a great roadmap for the year for a team, including when collaborative team meetings are intending to happen. Below is a sample from Maskwacis Outreach, who utilize a weekly early dismissal structure to allow embedded time for teams.

Click on the sample to access a view-only Google Doc version

Develop a viewable Calendar for distribution:

As shown in this sample from Clearview Public School‘s Colony Teams, a one-page overview calendar helps to publicly share those collaborative team meeting dates, as well as plan to nest them in advantageous times in the overall school calendar, in relation to other events and activities.

Click on the image to open a PDF version

Establishing an annual school calendar for when collaborative team meetings are intended to occur sends a clear and powerful message – these conversations to come together to collaboratively determine and respond to the needs of students are essential to the work we do in our organization!

Have a sample of how you’ve scheduled collaborative team meetings throughout the year to share? Please email me at kurtis.hewson(at)jigsawlearning.ca.

Looking forward to sharing Idea #3!


Author: Kurtis Hewson