Collaborative Response

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Join the hundreds of educational organizations throughout Alberta and beyond who are seeing success through Collaborative Response, a system-wide framework that values collaborative, action-focused responses, data-informed discussions, and timely support to ensure all students can experience success. A carefully planned and implemented Collaborative Response will provide impact to support both children and teachers.

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We have digital solutions to support and enhance your Collaborative Response work!

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Jigsaw Learning can guide you every step of the way to create a plan and help maximize the collective capacity in your schools!

How We Support

  • Development of a comprehensive school or district plan for establishing, refining and deepening Collaborative Response as a foundational framework for success. Access a comprehensive overview with considerations, including a planning organizer to coordinate implementation. Contact us to schedule a conversation!
  • Design and facilitation of professional learning workshops related to Collaborative Response and related components.
  • Coordination of support and coaching for system and school leaders to establish, refine and deepen Collaborative Response structures and processes in their organization.
  • Conduct school reviews, to provide individualized feedback and support for school leadership teams (see French version), as well as Collaborative Team Meeting reviews.
  • Establish digital solutions to support Collaborative Response work in educational organizations
    • Learn more about WeCollab and the Collaborative Response module in Dossier.


Collaborative Response gave our school the focus and framework needed to change the culture around how we identify and support all of our students. Providing meaningful and strategic tiered systems of supports, along with an emphasis on relationships, totally changed the game for our collaborative teams. This philosophical shift from the 'Me' to 'We' in the work we do has empowered all staff to initiate more student-centered conversations and consistently highlight celebrations. Collaborative Response was pivotal in this important work!

Chris Burris
Vice Principal & Behaviour Support Teacher Coach - South Shore Regional Centre for Education Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada

Collaborative Response sets out a pragmatic approach to collectively meeting the increasing complexity and demands within a classroom and a school community. Kurtis and Lorna Hewson provide multiple entry points for schools, leadership teams, and senior leaders to plan, act, and empower professionals in developing skills, structures, and processes to get to the heart of the issue and move learning forward for students.

Through understanding the role of assessment, collaboration, and a defined continuum of supports, Kurtis and Lorna Hewson lay out multiple entry points for schools, leadership teams, and senior leaders that will ultimately impact all students in achievement, inclusion and well-being.

Joanne Pitman
Superintendent, School Improvement - Calgary Board of Education

As we begin our journey with implementing Collaborative Response as a school-wide framework, it is rewarding to have so many excellent resources available to our leadership team and to our staff. We are excited about building a richer, deeper model for collaboration among all of our staff members and for being more intentional about supporting all of our students. Kurtis, Lorna and the Jigsaw Learning team have been invaluable in providing informative videos, templates, articles, and learning opportunities that are guiding our leadership team in leading professional development for our staff.

Karen Currie
Principal - Kamloops Christian School

Collaborative Response has allowed me to view through a different lens the way we can support all students and build capacity in our teachers through meaningful and effective professional discussions - while utilizing the time and talents of staff in our buildings. I appreciate the commitment of the Jigsaw Learning staff and their willingness to support our team through our Collaborative Response journey.

Stephanie Casper
Learning Consultant - Regina Catholic School DIvision

I loved coming away from the final webinar in the series with a plan in hand for what to do next in our process towards using a collaborative response to address student needs. I love having access to so many different documents to help us in our journey, and seeing what other schools have created on theirs.

Etta Viens
Principal - EW Pratt School, High Prairie School Division

Using a "Ready, Fire Aim" approach, we implemented Collaborative Response throughout our division with Kurtis Hewson and Jigsaw Learning's consultation, and the result has been transformational . We have established Collaborative Response as the framework for our division's organizational structure to support students. With the implementation of consistent, intentional structures such as the Collaborative Team Meetings, data analysis, and continuum of supports, we have seen increased efficacy, confidence, and collaboration at all levels of our organization. We are embracing a culture where staff rely on the strengths of their colleagues in a student-centred approach to inclusivity.

Pamela Guilbault
Superintendent - Lakeland Catholic School Division

By embracing and engaging in the Collaborative Model, we are continually increasing our ability to plan for and teach students in an individualized manner. In my administrative career, this model has easily been the most impactful structure that my schools have implemented.

Mike Flieger
Principal - Elm Street School - MHPSD # 76

A great framework for school level planning! The Collaborative Response framework has guided our school division to have deep and meaningful conversations around school level data. The conversations have led to action oriented planning and the implementation of supports for all students. Having a Collaborative Response approach has positively impacted our schools for the better. Like many, we too feel all students deserve to be successful and by adopting the Collaborative Response framework, we will see it become a reality.

Joanna Landry
Superintendent of Education Services - Regina Catholic Schools Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Collaborative Response provides a well-researched, flexible framework from which to address and support individual student learning needs. Administrators and teachers will appreciate the structures and processes which can be easily integrated into their practice. With clear guidelines for everything from organizing student data, to planning efficient team meetings, this book is a fantastic resource for improving student learning.

David Dyck
Education Director - Calgary Board of Education

Collaborative Response has been instrumental in changing the lives of both staff and students at Ballina Coast High School. It has provided an explicit and collective framework to have conversations and action responses that lead to improved student learning outcomes. It has ensured that the individual learning needs of all students are recognised as every person's responsibility. The language and the Collaborative Response empower staff to share knowledge and quality practices and move Ballina Coast High School from silos of practice to creating success for our students.

Janeen Silcock
Principal - Ballina Coast High School - Ballina, New South Wales, Australia

Collaborative Response will be PRSD’s vehicle for change! Coming together as a staff to analyze where students have learning gaps and then targeting supports makes all the difference in the world for a child. We all need to be on the same team when it comes to student success and we are seeing huge benefits from Collaborative Response as it sets the table for increased student achievement at every grade level and subject area within Peace River School Division!

Adam Murray
Superintendent - Peace River School Division

Our district in coastal, rural, Maine has been actively implementing Collaborative Response for three years now, and each year we continue to grow and evolve through the implementation process. The Collaborative Response philosophy and approach served as the leverage that we needed after years of trying to get a district-wide RTI plan off the ground! The Collaborative Response approach has a focus on collaborative, student-centered conversations and also provides resources and support for our teachers, as the experts - it has been a transformational model for all of our teams through grade levels PK-12.

Nicole Chan
Director of Curriculum - Regional School Unit 24 Sullivan, Maine, United States of America

Collaborative Response has provided Southern Cross Public School with purposeful and impactful structures and practices to support meaningful teacher collaboration and improve outcomes for all students. Collaborative Response prompted us to evaluate and restructure our whole school meeting schedules and intervention framework to reflect the layered approach suggested in Collaborative Response, in order to respond to the needs of all students. The positive impact of our revised meeting schedules, and our four-tiered intervention framework, is that all students are put in the spotlight and discussed, and none are left to fly under the radar. In addition, the Collaborative Team Meeting has further developed the professional capacity of staff by providing the vehicle to engage in deep discussions of evidence based teaching practices that assist in influencing and improving student achievement.

Leigh Toscan
Learning and Support Teacher - Southern Cross Public School - Ballina, New South Wales, Australia

For the first time in my professional career, I have weekly embedded time to collaborate with colleagues on students who need support. The ongoing dialogue has allowed for deep discussions about our students and the practices we use to deal with their challenges. It is enlightening to know that my colleagues are experiencing the same struggles and are willing to share their struggles and stories. Through these discussions, a culture of compassion has developed. We understand our students better. We understand our colleagues better. We understand our own teaching better. The trust required for this dialogue did take time to develop. It's easy to build a wall around egos and not admit when we don't have the answers for all our students. Being vulnerable and open during our meetings can only be reached if it is the norm for the process. Once sharing happens and students are discussed openly, the walls naturally start to crumble allowing for real talk about students. It is in these moments we can develop real ... Read more

Webcast Participant

Our school staff had the privilege to work with Kurtis Hewson over three virtual sessions to explore the collaborative response structures and processes. Kurtis did a wonderful job drawing on the theory, research, and evidence-based best practices that helps create the components of the collaborative response framework. The three sessions were broken up over two professional development days and after each session our school staff became more inspired and invested in implementing the collaborative response model. Kurtis has an engaging way of presenting the material that connects to the realities of our school. He was able to promote high level conversation that helped our staff reflect on our current practices and start to look at where we want to go in the future to best support all students. The timeline of the sessions and the sequencing of the learning experiences enabled all participants to build capacity and maximize our time to collaborate with one another. As a school, we finished the learning ser... Read more

Kris Herbert
Principal - E.G. Wahlstrom School

The Collaborative Response process organizes Memorial Composite to provide teachers strong collegial support to address the learning needs of their students and, by extension, teachers' professional learning needs. The framework of Collaborative Processes and Structures, Data and Evidence, and the Continuum of Supports provide a strong research based organizational model that is flexible enough to adapt to our school context. Through the lens of intervention, our school has evolved notably in a short time span, seeing teachers review their instructional practices more thoroughly to meet student needs, have a clearer understanding of student learning needs, and access recently created support structures to assist their students. Our Collaborative Response work has become a foundation to build upon to address a variety of concerns, both transient and big picture, and is now an essential part of our school growth processes.

Carolyn Jensen
Principal - Memorial Composite High School

We have been working with the Jigsaw Learning team for 3 years now, and are impressed with their ongoing teacher support and instructional coaching for teacher collaboration. They are very respectful and interested in Îyîniw Mâmtohnehicikan (Cree thinking) and Nehiyaw Pimatisiwin (Cree Ways of being). They work collaboratively with our teachers to offer support, coach and share ideas, plus they review the progress made in each school. Students really look forward to the CRM Focus time, as they have great success in these blocks.Their significant success was apparent in the first year that our school implemented the Collaborative Response Model. We started with 80% of our students needing urgent intervention and 0% of our students at/above benchmark. By the end of the first year, our urgent intervention numbers dropped to 43% and our at/above benchmark numbers increased by 12%.

Dianne Crane
Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction – Learning Services Branch - Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission

Kurtis Hewson provided support for myself (principal) and one of my teachers in creating timetables and embedding collaboration time into the schedule. My school is very small and as such manpower resources are limited. I was intrigued by the creative process that Kurtis suggested of beginning the timetabling with the collaboration time and intervention blocks and working backward from that. Kurtis was open-minded and responsive to the unique needs of our setting and was solution-focused! My colleague and I were thrilled with the end results!! We have a workable timetable with embedded intervention blocks and collaboration time! This was truly an example of focused teamwork towards a common goal! Kurtis also spent a great deal of time with us looking at different models as to how collaborative time can be addressed, team norm and goal setting, and timelines. I could not be more appreciative of the time Kurtis spent with my colleague and I! We are looking forward to a wonderful start to next year!

Sherry Pfannmuller
Principal - Sangudo Community School

The purpose of Collaborative Response is to reflect on practices to support both school staff and students to do better in their daily work. The fundamental pillars are not entirely new in education. The innovative part has primarily to do with the working process the main pillars of Collaborative Structures and Processes, Data and Evidence and Continuum of Supports generate. Collaborative Response is based on a structure that enables professional learning communities in schools to develop for the benefit of student learning and well-being. That is because the approach includes a respect for the knowledge, idiosyncrasies and experience of staff and students, i.e. all these are resources that can be used for the benefits of growth of all involved.

Ingileif Ástvaldsdóttir
Adjunct Lecturer - University of Iceland, Department of Education - Reykjavík, Iceland

At Murwillumbah High School, we have reimagined our student support structures, placing the Collaborative Response process at the heart of our practice. Most notably, the development of our Continuum of Supports helped us to articulate the dynamic relationship between learning and wellbeing and develop dynamic and ever evolving strategies to ensure every student is known and valued. Through Collaborative Response, we use collective efficacy, at all tiers of the continuum, to deliver support for students. Long meetings focusing on deficits are gone, replaced by action, not discussion, based collaborations which are purposeful, focusing on classroom instructional strategies and learning dispositions to grow strengths and yet to be strengths in our students. Collaborative Response is a key driver of our school wide collaborative culture and has been a major contributor to our strong growth in external assessments of literacy and numeracy.

Luke Bristow
Deputy Principal - Murwillumbah High School