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 Collaborative Response is foundational to how schools work together to ensure success for all students.
- Co-Author of the Corwin Best Seller Collaborative Response: Three Foundational Components That Transform How We Respond to the Needs of Student
- 2010 ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award Honouree
- Over 25 years of experience in the classroom, including over a decade as an award-winning school administrator
- 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
Kurtis Hewson from Jigsaw Learning is such a powerful educator! He is an engaging presenter, experienced teacher, discerning administrator, and is the insightful creator of the Collaborative Response Mindset.
I have had the privilege of learning from Kurtis Hewson as a student teacher at the University of Lethbridge, specifically his assessment and classroom management courses. Kurtis proved his genuine interest in relationships by memorizing every name on day one. Even years later, he still knows who I am.
Kurtis has been a mentor and guide both directly and indirectly. Kurtis trained my previous admin and colleagues in the Collaborative Response structure, and I saw benefits within a matter of weeks. Recently, he came to my new school and the response was positive, productive, and efficient.
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.
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.
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!
As a school district that has been using data to inform practices for some years now, Collaborative Response has provided a structure to collectively increase our capacity to serve a greater number of students. Our school learning teams are understanding the intricate interplay of collaborative structures and processes, data and evidence, and continuums of support and the collective ability these elements have to equip school staff with tools to do their best work. Kurtis Hewson and Marilyn Schmitke understand the push-pull of system change and they navigate the challenges with positivity and wisdom. We are excited for year two with Jigsaw Learning and the opportunity to expand our understanding and refine our application of Collaborative Response.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Excellent day of learning that allowed for reflection on current practice and development of next steps to keep the model moving forward. Kurtis Hewson is an engaging speaker who tailors the content to his audience and is able to not only answer questions, but provide real school examples to support his suggestions. I appreciate how collaborative response and Jigsaw Learning itself continues to shift and respond to the needs and experiences of the schools/divisions it is serving ... modelling the responsiveness we need to embody in our own buildings.
Kurtis Hewson came out last spring to assist us in creating timetables. Our goal was ultimately to ensure that each grade grouping had set collaborative meeting time throughout the week. After spending the morning with Kurtis we walked away with not only embedded time but set, consistent blocks dedicated to interventions, a completed music and physical education schedule, all before the month of June was over! Kurtis worked with us side by side, leading us through a very thorough scheduling process that made collaboration and intervention time possible. I would highly recommend having him work with your team. The time spent is highly valuable, not only for the creation of schedules but for the leadership/expertise he shares. We have scheduled more time with him this year and are excited about the possibilities.
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!