Supporting Collaborative Planning Teams

Do you find yourself having to go to a separate space to record what happens during Collaborative Planning time? Do you have to search out Collaborative Planning meeting notes to transcribe items to your to-do list?

There is a way in WeCollab to communicate and retain this information.

The Collaborative Planning Meeting

Lorna Hewson first discussed the idea of Collaborative Planning in the blog post Scaffolding our Collaborative Response: Purposeful Layering of Team Meetings. In the blog post Layering Teams: Establishing Collaborative Planning, Lorna further elaborates on the ways in which Collaborative Planning may be guided to enhance their functionality and efficiency within this layer of team and as it impacts others layers of a school’s or district’s Collaborative Response.

Bonus: Watch as Lorna discusses “The Tier 1 Team” as it pertains to Collaborative Response. (For the full conversation, watch here).

Preparing for the Collaborative Planning Meeting in WeCollab

While often celebrated for enhancing communication about supports in addressing student needs, and thus more likely to be considered for use with meetings more specifically connected to students, WeCollab does have the capacity to be leveraged to record the Collaborative Planning Meeting that is intended to be honed in on universal classroom instruction.

Establishing the Collaborative Planning Meeting Descriptor

In our previous blog post, Establishing Meeting Descriptors, the ability to customize the names and the descriptions of meetings from a school or district level within WeCollab has been described. By adding the Collaborative Planning Meeting descriptor, there is clear communication about this layer of team (its purpose) and it identifies that it does have a place to be recorded in the system.

Creating the Team Board for the Collaborative Planning Meeting

Much like the Collaborative Team Meeting (to be discussed in a future blog post), the Collaborative Planning Meeting would begin from a Team Board. Therefore, the first step would be to ensure a Team Board has been created for the group coming together for the Collaborative Planning Meeting. This may be a regular Team Board that is built to follow the Four Tier Support Overview (and it may very well be the same Team Board that is used for the next layer Collaborative Team Meeting) or it may be a Custom Team Board designed to display students for a specific purpose.

Adding Norms for the Collaborative Planning Meeting

Regardless, this Team Board has the capacity to reflect the norms that have been co-created by adding them at the time of creation or when editing the Team Board.

It may be necessary to create two very similar Team Boards with different names (one for Collaborative Planning and one for the Collaborative Team Meeting) if the norms are different for the two meeting types.

Recording the Collaborative Planning Meeting in WeCollab

Specify the Date and the Type of Meeting

Identify Those in Attendance at the Collaborative Planning Meeting

From the drop down menu provided, choose the staff with access to WeCollab that are present for the meeting. This will not only record who is in attendance, but will also identify those who are to receive an automatic email copy of the notes once the meeting is over.

There is also space to add the name and email address of attendees who do not have access to WeCollab to be included as attendees and permit the meeting notes to be emailed to them as well.

Identify Those to Receive a Copy of the Collaborative Planning Meeting Notes

Perhaps a team member is not in attendance today: they can still receive a copy of the meeting notes. As a school leader, this is a space where you can ask team members to check off your name to ensure you receive a copy of the notes as a way to stay informed of Collaborative Planning Meetings.

There is also space to add the name and email address of those who do not have access to WeCollab to have the meeting notes to be emailed to them as well. An example of this might be a team working with an off-site literacy coach: this is a great way to keep the coach apprised of the direction the team is taking between visits!

Recording Details of the Collaborative Planning Meeting

The Other Notes area of the Meeting Details is where the specifics of the Collaborative Planning Meeting are recorded. An agenda can be linked here, a focus for the meeting can be articulated, and any discussion notes can be added. This is NOT, however, the area to record actions determined as part of the meeting: the prompt for this will come later.

It is recommended that this area not be used immediately in the pop up window, but rather returned to once the next prompts are completed.

Reviewing and Living the Team Norms

The next prompt asks the above question. The norms, if added to the Team Board, will follow the question to allow for review. As discussed by Kurtis Hewson in the blog post Establishing and Reinforcing Norms, this prompt is intended to provide opportunity for practice and reinforcement of a specific norm for the meeting.

Celebrating Students to Articulate Practice

While not necessary, the meeting prompts for the addition of student celebrations. In the blog post Focus on Impact During Celebrations, Kurtis Hewson talks about the impact that can be had by articulating specific practice that has supported student success.

(It is at this point that it is recommended to return to the Meeting Details area to record the particulars of the Collaborative Planning Meeting).

Recording Agreed Upon Actions

As the meeting comes to a close, there will be a pop-up to identify tasks not specifically connected to students: this is the focus of the Collaborative Planning Meeting. The example above demonstrates how an action determined in a Collaborative Planning Meeting would be recorded: the name of the person responsible for the action, the action to be taken, and the expected completion date for the action.

As with all actions recorded in the WeCollab system from any type of meeting, these actions are then compiled in each user’s personal to-do list as well as the school’s record of actions.

Once the area is complete, the recorder of the Collaborative Planning Meeting notes will be prompted to email the notes to all those identified (in attendance or specified to receive a copy). As well as, there is cue to review the PDF of the meeting notes if it is decided to do so before ending the meeting.

Communicating and Retaining the Collaborative Planning Meeting Information in WeCollab

As has been outlined above, there is a process by which the Collaborative Planning Meeting can be communicated out (through the automatic email of the meeting notes PDF) and retained (with the PDF and all actions being compiled in their appropriate spaces).

If you interested in more information about how WeCollab might support and enhance your Collaborative Planning efforts, email wecollab(at) or schedule a conversation!

Author: Jennifer Ferguson