Collaborative Response

We understand that a single teacher alone cannot possibly meet the needs of their diverse classrooms. We've been there!

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We know the hard work they're doing every day for every child in every classroom.

We know it's complex and you're doing the best you can!

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Join the hundreds of educational organizations 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 know you are busy and need to engage in learning that fits your schedule!

Explore Collaborative Response 101, ideal for individuals wishing to learn more or organizations engaged in Collaborative Response and needing to build understanding for new staff members.

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Explore the 3 foundational components of Collaborative Response in these Opening Addresses from the 2022 Collaborative Response Symposium

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

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Collaborative does not always mean productive or responsive. Earmarking time in the day for educators to meet and discuss the needs of children is essential, but only if these meetings scale solutions and build teacher capacity.

In this episode find out how you can efficiently respond to the needs of individual and small groups of students while building your school’s overall collective efficacy.

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This magazine article shares the journey of Holy Spirit Catholic Schools implementing Collaborative Response across all schools in the division, as well as adopting Collaborative Response as a divisional approach for coordinating the supports for schools in relation to key district priorities.

Larsen, C., Lothian, C., Skretting, A., & Hewson, K. (Fall 2022). Knowing, Being, and Doing. The CASS Connection, 20-21.

Collaborative Response in Holy Spirit Catholic School Division

In this podcast episode Lead Learner Kurtis Hewson talks about Collaborative Response and how it can change how you approach meeting student needs.

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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, as well as across your system!

How We Support

All professional learning engagements may be personalized and designed for onsite, online or blended learning.


Development of a comprehensive school plan for establishing, refining and deepening your Collaborative Response.

Design personalized professional learning for your school to implement Collaborative Response.

Customized support and coaching for school leaders to establish, refine and deepen your structures and processes.

Engage in Collaborative Team Meeting Feedback to celebrate your learning and access recommendations for next steps.


Development of a district plan for establishing, refining and deepening Collaborative Response. Access a comprehensive overview with considerations, including a planning organizer to coordinate implementation.

Design personalized professional learning for your district to strategically plan and implement Collaborative Response.

Customized support and coaching for district leaders to establish, refine and deepen your structures and processes.

Support in establishing a Collaborative Response at the district for actualizing and monitoring system priorities.

Conduct Overall School Feedback, to provide individualized feedback and support for all school leadership teams.

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Together we can discuss your needs and design unique opportunities that will support your classrooms, schools and system.
Don't forget to check out all our free tools and samples for Collaborative Response in the ‘Resources and Samples’ section of our website.
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Kurtis Hewson is an outstanding presenter. His skill for learning names and interacting with the leadership group was top notch. I really valued the journey he shared and that Collaborative Response may look like this now, but certainly didn't start this way. His insight on the evolution of this practice is so helpful for schools just beginning this process! The best professional learning opportunity a school leader can participate in!

Melissa Kerr
Principal - Mundare School - Elk Island Public Schools

We have been working with Jigsaw Learning for a few years. We had Kurtis Hewson in to present on a professional development afternoon. He was engaging and informative. Collaborative Response has been a great addition to our school in supporting students and staff.

Deanne Good
Vice Principal - Annie L. Gaetz Elementary

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

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

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

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

Kurtis Hewson has worked with Battle River School Division for over five years. In this time he has worked closely with both school and division staff to implement the Collaborative Response process in a way that meets everyone where they are at and moves them forward. Resources such as videos, templates, articles and coaching opportunities are made readily available. Kurtis has a keen ability to make people feel heard and provides feedback in such a way that they deepen their understanding of, and abilities in leading the Collaborative Response Process. Leaders at all levels have been impacted by this work and are intentionally scheduling time for it. As a senior leader I have worked closely with Kurtis and have benefited from his coaching and support.

Shan Jorgenson-Adam
Deputy Superintendent - Battle River School Division

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

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

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

The Jigsaw Learning team has provided valuable guidance and expertise to our school administrators which has supported them in moving their schools forward and embedding a Collaborative Response approach within their schools to ensure support for all students.

Brenda Herder
Director of Learning - System Supports - Battle River School Division

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

I have worked with Kurtis Hewson and Jigsaw Learning with two different schools spanning K-12 and alternative education. He has done an excellent job differentiating guidance for the creation of a school/program specific Collaborative Response and the delivery of professional learning. Kurtis is an excellent facilitator providing engaging and relevant learning activities for educators. Jigsaw Learning has been very helpful to both of the admin teams with which I have worked in responding to our requests as well as helping us anticipate next steps and future needs. Their work continues to be practical, user friendly, professionally empowering, research based and continually evolving.

Carolyn Jensen
Principal - Memorial Composite High School

Collaborative Response allows us to pool our expertise so none of us have to know everything, but together we can find a solution! It has changed the culture of the way we think. We look for solutions and collaborate together to solve key concerns and issues.

Lori Knoblauch
Vice Principal & Inclusive Education Coach - Peace River High School

Kurtis and Lorna’s leadership in the use of Collaborative Response as well as their extensive knowledge and application of research in education is extremely beneficial in moving student learning along. They provided facilitation and coaching with various levels of leadership within the school division. When working with our group of Learning Coaches, Kurtis and Lorna provided research behind response to intervention as well as practical application for the use of Collaborative Response. Their approach to learning and leading is collaborative and responsive to the needs of the groups with which they work. They also worked closely with school leadership teams to provide coaching as well as formative feedback for each specific team. The school teams were impressed by their ability to individualize each school’s situation, needs and challenges. Kurtis and Lorna also facilitated the research process for our divis... Read more

Leslee Jodry
Deputy Superintendent - Northern Gateway Public Schools

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

We engaged with Kurtis Hewson on PD regarding the collaborative support team meeting structure. As always the PD was excellent and provided us with insight and resources to continue to grow our practice within Collaborative Response.

Audrey Ghostkeeper
Assistant Principal - E.G. Wahlstrom School

Kurtis Hewson and his team at Jigsaw Learning have helped transform how we do our work in our school division. Their Collaborative Response process is used in our schools and by our leadership team to focus in on problems of practice. Through this work we have used consistent intentional structures such as collaboration days, collaboration teams, data analysis and continuums of support to address problems of practice at all levels of our organization. The use of common language at all levels has contributed to increased vulnerability and efficacy to collaborate to ensure we are providing our students with the necessary skills to achieve at high levels. We appreciate that the Collaborative Response process is organic in nature and can be adapted so that it supports the work in schools as well as at the system level.

Dr. Rita Marler
Superintendent of Schools - Battle River School Division

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

We are very appreciative of the opportunity to work with, and learn from Kurtis Hewson and his team. We have had the good-fortune to work alongside him last year with a group of new principals; this year, we are working with Jigsaw Learning to support principals at our secondary schools. Kurtis and his team are incredibly professional, knowledgeable, organized, and supportive. They offer concrete school-based and realistic examples for leaders and teachers to learn from, and position the professional learning "just in time". Principals have indicated their professional learning with Jigsaw has been transformative in terms of how they support teachers, organize structures for learning in their schools, how they look at data, and how they best tier supports to ensure student success and achievement.

Lori Cooper
Education Director - Calgary Board of Education

As we have all had to shift our learning during the pandemic, this provided our school division new opportunities to collaborate virtually with Kurtis Hewson and the Jigsaw Learning team. The individual attention and tailored professional development we have received in 'Collaborative Response' has been exceptional. Kurtis provides thorough and detailed agendas and resources which are all stored as google documents in a digital dashboard specific to our school division. The PD days are a strategic mix of instruction and opportunities for team collaboration. Most of all I appreciate the attention to relationship building. Kurtis and his team are always accessible and quick to answer any questions or concerns.

Stephanie Casper
Learning Consultant - Mental Health and Wellness - Regina Catholic Schools

By embracing and engaging in Collaborative Response, 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

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, the text "Collaborative Response: Three Foundational Components That Transform How We Respond to the Needs of Learners" is a fantastic resource for improving student learning.

David Dyck
Education Director - Calgary Board of Education

In Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools our implementation of Collaborative Response in partnership with Jigsaw Learning, has had a transformative impact which has been remarkable.

We have evidence of the significant impact on collective teacher efficacy, a system-wide commitment to improvement, and the creation of powerful learning environments. Throughout the process, we have had significant support, involvement and commitment from our leadership teams who have been driving the implementation

Our approach to implementation empowers teachers, providing them with scaffolded support, guidance, and practical tools to excel in their roles. The collaborative framework encourages teamwork, fostering a culture of continuous growth and a shared commitment to student success. Through our partnership with Jigsaw Learning, we have witnessed a remarkable shift, where every stakeholder is actively engaged in creating an inclusive, innovative, and effective educational system.

Kristien Holtby
Director of Educational Services - Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools

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

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

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

We had done Response to Intervention. We had done PLC work. We just felt like there was something not quite coherent about what we were doing. Then we found Collaborative Response!

Nicole Townsend
Principal - Buck Mountain Central School

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

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

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.

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

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