We recently completed our first round of Collaborative Response Model (CRM) meetings. I had spent a lot of time trying to decide what process to follow for our first day. I was somewhere in between the “just let it happen” to planning each step out. I decided to start off slow, spend six weeks or more with dialogue around what CRM is, read different passages from the book, explore the website etc. I had it all planned out and then decided to change things the night before. As big an advocate for the “why” and the “how” that I am, I was afraid that too much “theory” would end up disengaging the teachers in the initial stages of CRM implementation. I decided to split the difference, divide the teachers into CRM groups and spend the first 40 minutes of each CRM group exploring the model and the last 40 minutes helping teachers select a priority to start working on.
We had already read the book as a staff the previous year so we were ready to dive into some discussion around the model. Our first 40 minutes involved using various structures to review the core beliefs, establish working norms and making criteria for how the time could be used. Our last 40 minutes involved the groups planning for the next week so that they have an idea of what they would be working on after we once again spend the first 40 minutes discussing some of the processes around the model. Working in a small school, I was easily able to sit in on all three 80 minute CRM groups that day. Each one was different in a great way and I feel fortunate that I was able to to listen in, guide and question where I can. One group decided to explore improving literacy in primary grades. They are going to start with their Program of Study (always a great starting point) and then move towards developing reading centers for their students. Another group talked about the importance of self reflection and how they can incorporate that into their practice as well as math manipulatives. A third group invited in two of our district's Learning Coaches to explore a universal assessment for math. They ended up getting everything set up to administer the assessment the following day. They now have data to inform their next steps. We will all gather again next week for our second meeting. We will spend the first 40 minutes dialoguing around the model and then each group will start some collaborative work. We plan to follow this format for the first four to five weeks and then have our first Collaborative Response Team meeting (CRT) in about five weeks. We may use an upcoming pd day to establish our "pyramid of interventions" as a whole staff.
The purpose of the first day was to ensure teachers understood the function of CRM, felt reassured it was not going to be another burden and get some traction going for the year. Looking for data myself, I sent out a Google form the next day with seven short answer and scaled rating questions
- What is your understanding of the purpose of CRM?
- What are you most worried/fearful of as we implement CRM?
- The first CRM meeting deepened my understanding of the model. (1 to 5)
- The first CRM meeting was strategic and purposeful. (1 to 5)
- I believe that CRM has the potential to improve student learning in our school. (1 to 5)
- Advise me. How can I better support you with CRM?
- Anything else to share or comment on?
I saw positive energy in each group. I am excited for the journey and hope to share my experience including what worked and what didn't work.