Testimonial letter from Brenda MacDonald, Deputy Superintendent – Clearview Public Schools
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, Principal – Chamberlain School
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, Principal – Tipaskan Elementary
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 with our work on student engagement and worked with us in developing data tools with this focus. Kurtis and Lorna are extremely responsive in their work. They are dedicated professionals and lifelong learners who always put students at the center of the work. It is an honor to work with them.
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, Supervisor of Student Services and Carol Fedoruk, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction – Peace River School Division #10
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, Principal – Magrath Elementary School
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, Principal – Satoo 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, Principal – 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
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
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
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
Our Jigsaw Learning Team
- Kurtis Hewson – Lead Learner/Founder
- Lorna Hewson – Lead Learner/Founder
- Amber Hester – Lead Learner
- Arlene Littlemore – Learning Associate
- Barb Pears – Learning Associate
- Cheryl Gascoyne – Learning Associate
- Jennifer Ferguson – Learning Associate
- Ken Pon – Learning Associate
- Nancy Roy – Associée à l’apprentissage
- Kim Wedman – Learning Associate