The Collaborative Team Meeting (CTM) serves as the starting place for many schools seriously looking at ensuring success for all students through a Collaborative Response Model, . The CTM becomes the forum for examining and discussing OUR students and ensuring that there is a school response for students at-risk. This does not alleviate responsibility from the classroom teacher or diminish their role in supporting students but rather serves as the school support structure to place a team around the student (and in essence the classroom teacher).
Ideally, a CTM should be happening every 4-6 weeks, with teams that are determined by the context and configuration of the school. We’ve worked in and with schools where collaborative team meetings have taken place:
- in grade levels (ie. grade 4)
- in cross-grade levels (ie. grade 2/3)
- in divisions (ie division 2 – grades 4-6)
- in student pods (ie. students divided into groups of 50 students at various grade levels)
- by subject area (ie. Mathematics) – this is primarily in junior/senior high contexts and our experience is that schools that start in this team meeting configuration often revert to a student pod model, as supports typically need to be put in place that extend beyond a single subject area
- We have developed a Google Form where we invite schools to share how they provide embedded time for teams in their school. A collection of responses is also available.
The essential elements of a collaborative team meeting are:
- Focus on a common goal
- Action oriented
- Maximum staff involvement
- Time embedded in the school timetable and calendar
- Formalized process
- Visual display of students
- Team meeting notes and tasks
- Team meeting norms
We have developed an Essential Elements Rubric for Collaborative Team Meetings that can be a useful self-assessment tool for schools establishing CTMs, providing directions for next steps as a school.
Best of luck and as Nike’s slogan proclaims – “Just do it”! Set up a collaborative team meeting structure and just start talking about kids. You will find it will have a powerful impact as staff in schools work together to support students!
Adapted from a previous posting – originally published September 26, 2011