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New Chinook's Edge process will help students post-pandemic

Help for students identified as having complex or emerging learning needs

INNISFAIL – Chinook’s Edge School Division officials believe a newly implemented collaborative response model (CRM) will be a big help to many students returning to classes following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CRM process involves a team of teachers, administrators, school wellness workers, and others formed in each school that works closely with individual students identified as having complex or emerging learning needs.

As part of the CRM process, meetings will be held to share the student’s progress, discuss the student’s current situation, examine the relevant data around assessments and current interventions, talk about processes that may lead to greater success, plot specific action steps, and determine effective followup.

Dr. Marcie Perdue is Chinook’s Edge associate superintendent of Student Services. She is one of those spearheading the process in the division.

“What I can really see happening when our students come back is that we have our data there to identify those students who might have gaps from COVID so that we can support them,” said Perdue.

“I actually see it as being a really great lens for all our students, so that we can look and see who are those students that are struggling from the time we last saw them (in person). And there could be new ones.”

The CRM process began as a pilot project several years ago and is now being used through the division.

Jeff Thompson is principal of Bowden Grandview School and a keen advocate of the model.

“We anticipate the pandemic disruption will affect students coming back to school, but we are equipped with a clear CRM process that is embedding in our practice which will help address gaps,” said Thompson.

“CRM is looking at student complexities as individual puzzle pieces, with a goal to bring strategies and resources around each piece so they all fit together to create a picture of student success.

“COVID-19 has created obvious challenges, but we have taken a difficult situation and made the very best of it. Our increasing technology skills, for one, will enhance the delivery of education even when kids are back in class.

The CRM process will help pick up some of the things that students are missing and identify the appropriate action, he said.

“We’ve continued our CRM meetings throughout this pandemic time,” he said. “Through our many practices for supporting students, which includes CRM, we can provide whatever is needed.”

Perdue said the CRM has already created measurable success in Chinook’s Edge.

“What I see as a real strength of this process is that is gives up an opportunity to actually look at where our kids will be at when they come back and make plans around that,” she said.