Three Foundational Components That Transform How We Respond to the Needs of Learners
Foreword by Andrew Hargreaves
Decision Making Tools | Leadership & Management | Team Building
A school-wide model for addressing individual needs
The greatest goal of education is to ensure equity while enhancing learning and academic success for all students. And yet, it is impossible for one teacher to meet the extensive needs of all students in his or her classroom. The traditional schooling model cannot provide for this complexity and leaves educators perplexed. The solution is a collaborative approach where “every child deserves a team” to surround them with supports that recognize their strengths and challenges.
Collaborative Response offers a school-wide model for addressing students’ individual needs. The three fundamental components of the model are: collaborative structures and processes; data and evidence; and continuum of supports. In this book, readers will find:
- Entry points for beginning this work
- Potential pitfalls of the approach
- Case studies from schools that have adopted the model
- Access to a website with tools, templates, case studies, and more
With a focus on quality classroom instruction, this book shares examples from schools and districts that have transformed how they respond to the needs of all learners.
Collaborative Response has been instrumental in changing the lives of both staff and students. It has provided an explicit and collective framework to have conversations that lead to improved student learning outcomes and ensured that the individual learning needs of all students are recognised as every person's responsibility.
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! It has been a transformational model for all of our teams through grade levels PK–12.
Through understanding the role of assessment, collaboration, and a defined continuum of supports, Kurtis and Lorna lay out multiple entry points for schools, leadership teams, and senior leaders that will ultimately impact all students in achievement, inclusion, and well-being.
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—all these are resources that can be used for the benefits and growth of all involved.
The positive impact of our revised meeting schedules, and our four-tiered intervention framework, is that all students are put in the spotlight, and none are left to fly under the radar. In addition, the collaborative team meeting has advanced the professional capacity of staff by providing the vehicle to engage in deep discussions of evidence-based teaching practices that assist in improving student achievement.
Through understanding the roles 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.
Collaborative Response provides a deeper model for collaboration and a way to be more intentional about supporting all our students. In addition, Kurtis and Lorna Hewson 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.
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.
We have reimagined our student support structures, placing the Collaborative Response process at the heart of our practice. Long meetings focusing on deficits are gone, replaced by action-based collaborations focusing on classroom instructional strategies and learning dispositions. Collaborative Response is a key driver of our schoolwide collaborative culture and has been a major contributor to our strong growth in external assessments of literacy and numeracy.
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 our schools!