Collaborating to support students

Resources for building a collaborative environment that addresses the needs of children, youth and their families.


Schools are most effective in addressing the needs of all children, youth and their families when school authorities, staff members, parents and community partners work collaboratively.

Collaborative Practices is a term used by the Alberta government to describe many different activities that support a culture in which children and youth are equipped to overcome challenges and experience success in school.

Success is apparent when schools, school authorities and their partners work together to provide supports and services in a way that is:

  • timely
  • culturally sensitive
  • responsive

Using a collaborative approach helps to:

  • reduce overlap of and gaps in services
  • enhance relationships among all members of the school community
  • focus on the strengths or the child or youth to promote optimism and motivation
  • increase the community's capacity to address the needs of children and youth

Collaboration strengthens relationships among members of the school community and allows staff to improve educational outcomes and find innovative solutions to problems.

Working together also supports a school community in which children and youth are prepared to overcome challenges and experience success.

Working Together Toolkit

The Working Together Toolkit helps superintendents, division office leaders, principals, school leaders and education partners build capacity and develop partnerships.

The purpose of the toolkit is to increase the ability of school authorities, system leaders and school-based leaders to form collaborative, shared-governance teams with education partners to create an environment for success for all learners.

The toolkit includes a 4-stage approach that helps identify:

  • which partnership(s) are best suited to the common cause
  • collaborative practices to assist in the development of these partnerships

The toolkit also includes:

  • information on developing effective agreements
  • guidelines
  • tip sheets
  • strategies for effective meetings
  • samples of effective collaborative decision-making

Working Together Toolkit

Collaborative resources

The following Collaborative Practices resources were put together with input from teachers, administrators, parents, youth and other education partners to help school authorities and their partners understand how to build a school community that supports collaboration.

Resources include:

  • a series of videos
  • conversation guides
  • knowledge sharing materials
  • a research library


Principles Placement

Principles Poster

Collaborative Practices Bookmark

10 Principles of the Wraparound Process

Completing the Continuum of Schoolwide Positive Behaviour Support

Additional resources

Alberta Centre For Child, Family and Community Research