Wednesday, April 25 – 9:00 am (room TBA)  – “Envisioning a Collaborative Response Model”

Join Kurtis and Lorna Hewson, lead learners and founders of Jigsaw Learning as they break down the essential components of a Collaborative Response Model, a school framework that values collaborative, action focused responses, data-informed discussions, and timely intervention to ensure all students can experience success.

Participants in this introductory workshop will learn how school and district teams establish school-wide structures to ensure support for every student in our schools and across our districts.  Numerous Alberta school and district examples, as well as access to a myriad of resources will be provided.  For those new to a collaborative response model approach, or wishing to extend their learning, this full day session will serve as a great primer for the rest of the conference

Wednesday, April 25 – 9:00 am (room TBA)  – “Title TBA”

Join Dr. Dennis Shirley – topic and content to be posted soon!



Thursday, April 26 – 9:00 am (Jubilee Ballroom) – “To Be Announced”

Join Dr. Dennis Shirley – topic and content to be posted soon!




What are the Pieces that make CRM work for us? – Vera M Welsh School, Northern Lights Public Schools

Presenter(s):  Rachelle Best, Cheryl Kuraitis, Keith White, Bonnie Collins

Audience: K-Grade 3

Focus: Collaborative Structures/Processes, Embedding Time, School Culture

Our Student Support Team (SST) members will discuss the components of how our school functions and how the ​Collaborative Response Model has supported us in taking our students learning and understanding further. We will discuss the following: School Culture – our mission, we are a reading school and home reading program; Building Teacher Capacity – PD Tuesdays and PLCs; Our Whole Child Programs – APPLE school, Zones of Regulation, TRIBES and Common Language; and Student Support Team – Weekly meetings, referral process and targeted services.


Microscope Vision: Using the Collaborative Response Model to Address the Full Picture – Elm Street School, Medicine Hat Public School Division

Presenter(s):  Ashton Weisgerber, Dana Hausauer

Audience: K-6 educators and leaders

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Embedding Time, Facilitating Conversations, Software/Documentation, Use of Assessments, Small Schools

How can we effectively address target areas necessary for purposeful interventions, strategies and accommodations, in which we can monitor progress in order to see the necessary shifts in learning? This session will provide a narrative example of the process of providing data-driven instruction in the classroom, based on powerful conversations in collaboration with other teachers. The information gained from this session will speak to the continual learning of two educators, based on what has worked and what has not, in finding the best approaches to addressing the learning needs in a grade four classroom.


Articulating Quality Learning Environments: Universal Instructional Practices Across K-12 Classrooms – Northern Gateway Public Schools

Presenter:  Leslee Jodry, Jennifer Ferguson, NGPS Quality Learning Environments Steering Team

Audience: Classroom Teachers, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership, District Leadership

Focus: Collaborative Structures/Processes, Pyramid of Interventions/Continuum of Supports

Clearly articulating the dimensions of quality learning environments is essential to ensuring strong universal (Tier 1) instructional practices across Northern Gateway Public Schools. The development of NGPS Quality Learning Environments is being guided by a divisional Steering Team coordinating an iterative process built upon the guiding principle that NGPS has outstanding educators who can collectively define the common tenets of highly impactful and effective instruction.

Come hear about this first year of the journey to: Ensure that division-wide quality instruction is clearly articulated, co-constructed, supported by research and embedded in the culture of NGPS Determine an understanding of the non-negotiables for quality instruction in every school, by establishing a commonly understood foundation of universal classroom practice Provide a foundation for classroom observation and feedback; professional self and team reflection regarding teacher practice; professional development, to allow more consistent and reliable professional growth; teacher recruitment (a lens for hiring and a framework for new teacher growth and development); future leadership development within the division; and community understanding of what quality instruction entails in every NGPS classroom.


Ready, Fire, Aim – Ecole Senator Riley School with Foothills School Division

Presenter(s):  Tracey McKinnon, Dorothy Paszkowski

Audience: Grades 4-9 Classroom Teachers, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Embedding Time

This session will share the journey of Ecole Senator Riley Middle School in becoming a collaborative response school. We will share the journey from start to now, challenges and successes.


Relationships and Culture in CRM -Drayton Valley Christian School, Wild Rose School Division

Presenter(s):  Terri-Lynn Emms, Kim Wedman

Audience: Grades K-9, Classroom Teachers, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership

Focus: Facilitating Conversations, School Culture

Relationships and culture are essential pieces to the CRM at DCS. In this session, Terri-Lynn and Kim will discuss the building blocks and scaffolding that is imperative in building a CRM framework. This is the second year of implementation and they will share their learning along the way. Terri-Lynn and Kim will have an interactive session and model some activities that have been vital in building a vibrant staff culture to emanate the school belief that we support all of our students at our school and are one community.


 CRM From a Teacher’s Perspective – Ecole Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School

Presenter(s):  John Fenrich, Steff Zelmer

Audience:  Grades 10-12, Classroom Teachers, School Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, School Culture

This session provides a teacher’s perspective on a CRM school in the 4th year of using the process. We started using the CRM process in 2014-15 and have learned a lot along the way. We hope to provide a realistic view on how the process is working for teachers in a large high school. We will discuss what is going well and where the areas of growth are for our school. We hope to generate discussion and answer questions that other schools may have.


Collaborative Response Model: Not a Destination, An Evolution! -Kildare School, Edmonton Public Schools

Presenter(s):  Tina Jeske

Audience: K – Grade 6, Classroom Teachers, School Support Staff, School Leadership

Focus: Collaborative Structures/Processes, Facilitating Conversations, Whole-Child Focus, SWAP Block

Still in the early stages of establishing a collaborative response model? Come learn how Kildare School, a dual track English/Mandarin School in North Edmonton, has started! With the development of a school-wide SWAP block, literacy interventions are provided daily for students. As well, monthly collaborative team meetings have allowed rich discussions to occur to support the needs of students. Come learn about how the model was started and the difference it is making for students and staff.



Creating a Culture of Wrapping Up Kids – Westmount School, Foothills School Division

Presenter(s):  Cynthia Glaicar, Stacey Swanson

Audience: Grades 4 – 9, School Leadership

Focus: School Culture, Whole-Child Focus

Join Cynthia and Stacey for a conversation about how implementing the CRM conversations have supported their Leader in Me culture and their team approach to wrapping up kids. In year two of the journey, the biggest impact has been seen in the middle and junior high grades. Cynthia and Stacey will share their experience with the meetings, how they have created importance and time, and how the meetings have supported their school vision.


Why would you pony up for CRM? – Peace Wapiti Academy, Peace Wapiti School Division

Presenter(s):  Kate Thon, 

Audience:  Grades 10-12, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership, District Leadership

Focus:  Pyramid of Interventions/Continuum of Supports, Intentional CTS Programming

Painted Ponies, an equine assisted learning program, was developed in response to an increase in awareness of the need for social/emotional supports while at the same time, recognizing the challenge of providing these supports at a tier 1 level within a high school. This led us back to the Program of Studies, looking for opportunities in CTS to provide courses where students would receive credit while engaging in targeted programming on team building, communication, conflict resolution and leadership skills; skills directly linked to participants feeling less anxious, less depressed, and more likely to use healthy coping strategies in times of stress.


Progress Monitoring for Integrity – Northern Gateway Public Schools

Presenter:  Leslee Jodry

Audience:  School Leadership, District Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Facilitating Conversations

Years after initial implementation, administrative changes and shifts in education, Northern Gateway Public Schools took pause to assess the integrity of the Collaborative Response Model in the jurisdiction over time. Through a review process facilitated by Jigsaw Learning, NGPS reflected on the feedback provided by Kurtis Hewson and developed a plan to focus on examining and enhancing the critical role of leadership in the Collaborative Response Model. Attend this session to learn more about how divisional leadership supports and resources have been collectively developed to support schools, focused on sustaining and deepening Collaborative Response Model practices across a jurisdiction.


Collaboratively Responding…in High School? –  W.R. Myers High School, Horizon School Division

Presenter: Ken Pon

Audience:  Grades 10-12, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership, District Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Embedding Time, School Culture

High Schools are awesome places to work! The students, staff and your school community are critical to the success of implementing a collaborative response model. The road to success will be filled with bumps and celebrations. My experience within two high schools as a school leader has been a great journey. In this session we will focus on three stages of CRM implementation: 1) Valuing what has been developed within your school, 2) Bridging the gap from the past and how it fits in the CRM model in your building, 3) Continuing the journey and how it works for your school. CRM works in the high school…it takes leadership and teamwork.


I’m in, now what? Our First Year Journey to Implementing a Collaborative Response Model – Southview Community School, Medicine Hat Public Schools

Presenter:  Todd Samuelson, Annetta Labash, Michelle Hilton, 

Audience: K – Grade 6, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership

Focus: Collaborative Structures/Processes

This session will showcase our school’s journey from investigating a Collaborative Response Model to implementation and continual refinement. We followed the mantra “go slow to go fast,” approach, but also were not afraid to “mess around” with the process. This balanced approach has led to a system where all teachers support Collaborative Response and in its short time of implementation has proven its effectiveness. CRM has changed the way we approach collaboration to meet the needs of all students.

Southview Community School is an elementary school with approximately 200 students. We provide a minimum of 80 minutes per week of CRM time for each teacher group and an additional 40 minutes for a CRM leadership team. Each CRM group has three teachers from different grade levels as well as an administrator and a Classroom Support Teacher that participate and guide the process.A district Instructional coach is also available to offer support for each group.


On our Way with CRM –  Onoway Elementary School, Northern Gateway Public Schools

Presenter: Jody Beck, Heather Belseth, Stephanie Damery

Audience:  K – Grade 6, Classroom Teachers, Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Pyramid of Interventions/Continuum of Supports

At Onoway Elementary School, we believe that all students are our students. We have been focused on continuously improving our capacity to respond to each student through a ‘whole child’ lens. With the foundation that kids do well if they can, we are creating a continuum of supports and services so that every child can be successful. Working very closely with Kurtis and Lorna Hewson for the past two years has helped us on our journey to strengthen our culture of trust, interdependence and our capacity to reach every learner. We will share our successes and challenges as we continue this journey.



Missing Pieces? #imagine -Beaverlodge Regional High School, Peace Wapiti School Division #76

Presenter(s):  Anna Nelson, Penny Calvert, Lynn Nordhagen

Audience:  Grades 10-12, we welcome all learners

Focus: Pyramid of Interventions/Continuum of Supports, Addressing challenges at HS

As we continue to fit the pieces of our CRM puzzle together, the process has grown in unexpected ways. This has presented us with both challenges and gifts. Some of the challenges have been developing teacher capacity in the process, implementation and accountability of Tier 2 supports. One of the great gifts of CRM is the relationship building aspect that naturally flows from this process with our students and our community.


Nitty Gritty to Easy Peasy. A leader’s take on the essentials for implementing CRM –  Our Lady of the Angels School. Elk Island Catholic Schools

Presenter(s): Arlene Littlemore

Audience:  Learning Support/Coaches, School Leadership, District Leadership, External Partnerships

Focus: Collaborative Structures/Processes, School Culture

The framework is suitable to multiple approaches. The skill development, physical fitness and mental wellness components would be easily adaptable to many programs.


BLAST – a literacy intervention for early learners (Basic Literacy Acquisition Skills Time) – West Meadow School, Livingstone Range School Division #68

Presenter(s): Lynda McGrattan

Audience:  K – Grade 3, Classroom Teachers, Learning Support/Coaches, School Support Staff

Focus: Pyramid of Interventions/Continuum of Supports

BLAST (Basic Literacy Acquisition Skills Time) is a literacy intervention program to support early learners. This literacy program is an ability-appropriate teaching of early literacy decoding skills. It is a literacy program developed by teachers in which children in grades one and two participate in flexible, short term ability- appropriate groups to learn early literacy decoding skills.

There are approximately 23 basic skills students need to master in order to become fluent readers. Research shows that students who do not learn to read in the first and second grades are likely to continue to struggle with reading and are at a higher risk for academic failure. The formula for success is not complicated. If we provide students with the necessary targeted decoding instruction and the time to learn the new skills, then they will learn!

BLAST is based on the DuFour model. In more traditional schools, time is fixed, and therefore how much students learn can vary: a better way is for outcomes to be fixed and the time needed to learn can vary. After an initial screening, students are placed in flexible, 4 week instructional groups as determined by their abilities in rhyming, alphabet skills, decoding of nonsense words (short vowels, ‘magic e’, double vowels, blends etc), fluency and comprehension. At the end of the 4 week cycle, students are reassessed and new groupings are created to support the learners.


Putting it Together ~ Structures & Scheduling- Winterburn School,  Edmonton Public Schools

Presenter(s): Marilyn Schmitke, Liz Ward

Audience: K – Grade 9, School Leadership

Focus:  Collaborative Structures/Processes, Embedding Time

Marilyn & Liz will share how the Collaborative Response Model was rolled out at Winterburn School and how it has evolved over the last 3 years. Highlights will include how school wide structures and schedules have been implemented and revised to best support students.


CRM Eyes Wide Open: School Review Process  – Jigsaw Learning Team


Audience: School Leadership, District Leadership

Focus:  School Reviews

The school review process is intended to provide valuable feedback to school leadership teams. From the perspective of a critical friend focusing on the school’s Collaborative Response Model, this process helps to determine site specific next steps to be considered. Kim and Sheila will walk you through the three phases of the process and how it builds on your school’s CRM successes. They will share their own experiences from an administrator’s and reviewer’s perspective.


More information to be posted soon.  Intended to be an opportunity to engage in 30 minute self-directed learning sessions, including:

Q and A opportunities with breakout session presenters,

Table conversations with facilitators around a number of CRM topics,

Software cafes,

Networking sessions,

and more!