Kurtis Hewson

Lead Learner / Founder

As Lead Leader and co-founder of Jigsaw Learning, Kurtis has championed the call for collaborative structures in schools to ensure success for all students and enhance the collective efficacy of those dedicated educators working in classrooms. Kurtis works to establish responsive relationships with districts and system level leaders to design collaborative frameworks for educators and develop leadership capacity at all levels. An engaging speaker and facilitator, Kurtis interacts with thousands of educators and educational stakeholders annually to ensure the Collaborative Response Model is foundational to how schools work together to ensure success for all students.

  • Co-Author of Envisioning a Collaborative Response Model
  • 2010 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award Honouree
  • Over 20 years of experience in the classroom, including over a decade as an award-winning school administrator
  • Over 20 years classroom experience
  • Engaging keynote presenter and workshop facilitator
  • Works with thousands of educators annually, establishing collaborative structures in schools and districts to respond to the needs of all students and enhance collective teacher efficacy

Testimonials for Kurtis

We had Kurtis come to our school for a PD Day and inspire our staff with the Collaborative Response Model. We have already embedded time for common meeting time within our week, but I think our meetings didn't really have any structure. After this PD day, we are excited to have a method that was clearly explained and that we can use going forward so that we are doing our best for ALL of our students.

Mike Fleck
Vice Principal - Holy Family Academy, Brooks AB

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your easy going, down to earth approach makes it easy to create an open, honest, trustworthy environment which is so critical with this work. You have brought clarity and focus to the work that I need to do. You are always 100% engaged in the conversation – whether it be in a group setting or one-on-one, and to have continuity in our work has been so easy with you. Looking forward to moving forward with you and continuing the work!

Cheryl Belyea
Principle - Tipaskan Elementary

Kurtis recently facilitated some action planning for our school during a professional learning day. Kurtis’ ability facilitate a step by step process in creating our school goals, focuses and ensuring that all staff members had a valuable role to fulfill allowed for us to move forward with clarity for the coming school year in terms of our vision. Through purposeful tasks, our staff was able to collaborate and reflect deeply about the work we have completed and then to determine our priorities. Kurtis is a natural at ensuring that all players are part of the process. The templates and materials were seen as incredible assets to the process. We would highly recommend the Jigsaw Learning team to any school and jurisdiction team.

Alyson Archibald
Principle - Chamberlain School

I am very grateful and appreciative for the leadership and mentoring you have so skillfully provided…everything from activities to the framework to the resources (templates, etc). The framework provides a very clear structure and set of processes and yet what I appreciated most was the manner in which you structured the three days loosely enough for a lot of dialogue to happen. Loved it! Thanks!

Marlene Hanson
Principal - Julia Kiniski School

Kurtis and Lorna’s leadership in the use of the Collaborative Response Model 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 the Collaborative Response Model. 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 division’s work to support teachers with a coaching model. They assisted us wi... Read more

Leslee Jodry
Assistant Superintendent – Learning Services - Grande Yellowhead Public School Division #77

Working with Kurtis Hewson has ignited the spark in our teachers to truly work together through targeted and focussed Collaborative Team Meetings. Kurtis was able to help pinpoint what was most important for meeting the needs of our students by facilitating our first team meeting. This set the tone for the rest of the school year and was an integral part of improving student success. Our team feels confident in moving forward in this new direction and we are grateful to have had the support of Kurtis through this process.

Mark Blankenstyn and Candice Vercillo
Nicholas Sheran Community School

The workshop Kurtis and Lorna provided for our School Administrators, School-based I-Coaches, Learning Coaches and Central Office staff, Exploring a Collaborative Response Model, provided us with the encouragement, support and tools to move to the next step in our division. Kurtis and Lorna showed us, through excellent examples and stories of their experiences, how it can be done. They gave us the picture and model that we can easily implement and fine tune so that it fits our context. Thank you for an excellent session.

Janet Mayer / Carol Fedoruk
Supervisor of Student Services / Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction - Peace River School Division #10

Thank you for helping us create a graphic that has enabled us to track reading comprehension for our students. Through this work we are better able to identify our students at risk and determine appropriate strategies to support their learning.

Marilyn Schmitke
Principle - Satoo Elementary School

Staff from MES would like to thank Kurtis and Lorna again for the great workshop they provided. It is such a powerful tool to be able to bring expertise like they have into an informative, engaging, embedded PD workshop for all teachers, at the same time, during the school day. We appreciated how Kurtis and Lorna could use their practical knowledge to help us develop next steps in our assessment and intervention journey.

Brad Sabey
Principle - Magrath Elementary School

Thank you again for the wonderful PD day. Everyone was very excited to get going when we talked yesterday. We are planning our first collaborative meetings for next Monday.

Audra Limpert
Principle - Hanna Primary School

While attending the AAC conference last fall, I was lucky enough to choose a session presented by Kurtis and Lorna. The title, Anchoring Instruction around Performance Tasks, grabbed my attention as I was on the journey of changing my assessment practice. After the session, I couldn’t wait to re-connect with my school staff to discuss the ideas that were presented. We decided to ask Lorna and Kurtis to come to our school to repeat the session on our opening PD day in August. It was an exciting kick-off to our new school year. Anchoring instruction around the performance tasks enables the teachers to plan and structure the learning while using formative assessment to guide the students. The presentation provided a learning opportunity with our staff that didn’t end when Kurtis and Lorna walked out the door. A spark was planted in the minds of our staff members as the conversations continue. We are working together as a staff planning our learning with ideas inspired by Kurtis and Lorna.

Jill Alexander
Teacher - Blackie School

It was wonderful to have a teacher from Alberta, who has worked in smaller schools and understands our culture and educational system, present a PD session as the keynote speaker. I really appreciated the guidelines given for productive collaboration and the practical focus of the presentation.

Amber Dalke
Teacher - Peace River School Division

One of our better Kickoff presentations. It was nice to have a presenter with a working knowledge of the Alberta curriculum and education system; it was especially nice to have someone familiar with our area and the challenges we face here.

September 2018 Participant

In regards to Collaborative Learning, Kurtis described, discussed and instructed in such a way that made it tangible and something that could functionally be achieved. It was one of the best Divisional days that I have attended at the start of a school year in a long time because I walked away feeling like there are things that I could start doing at my school the next day.

September 2018 Participant

As Superintendent of Nipisihkopahk Education Authority (NEA), I would like to state on behalf of the staff and students how great a working relationship we experienced with Kurtis and Jigsaw Learning. What made this such a very rewarding experience for NEA was not that Kurtis delivered a quality product but it was the support and mentoring from Kurtis that made our Collaborative Response Model so successful at NEA Schools.

Kevin Wells
Superintendent - Nipisihkopahk Education Authority (NEA)

Kurtis has incredible passion for assisting teachers with making themselves better in their work for their students.

Tim Croker
Principle - Clearview Colonies