A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

August, 2018
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Banner with title: Using the Early Warning Indicator System to Improve Outcomes for Students
EWIS News from DESE's Office for College, Career and Technical Education

Early Warning Indicator System reports for the 2018-19 school year are now available in Edwin, just in time for teams to use EWIS in preparing for the start of the school year. Educators can review students' early warning risk levels in Edwin to understand which students are at risk of missing important academic milestones and can develop additional supports tailored to their students' strengths and needs. For districts that did not report data by the due dates, EWIS will be updated next in mid-September. Student claiming affects your ability to see EWIS information! See below for more about student claiming.

Happy sleuthing!

-DESE's EWIS Team (Jen, Kate and Nyal)

Join the EWIS workshop on September 21. This is a great chance to bring a core team. Include a leader who can champion and protect time for this work; a data specialist who knows their way around data from various systems; and a program specialist who can make decisions about interventions and is familiar with students and their strengths and needs. 

Sign up for the EWIS Data Use webinar series to kick-start your use of EWIS tools and to discuss strategies for responding to students' risk throughout the school year. 

In the first EWIS webinar (on September 6 at 1 P.M.) we'll cover an overview or refresher of the reports. 

"We looked at the data as a team. First, our principal did a cursory analysis of trends. Next, we targeted a subgroup: we made a report for that subgroup so we could look at individual students. Then, we asked, for each student that is high risk, do they have an adult looking out for them and connecting with them every day? That person reviewed their detailed data to understand more."

Do you have an EWIS story? 

Send an example of how you and your team have used EWIS to improve outcomes for students.

Your story may inspire others! 



Student Claiming Affects Your Ability to see EWIS Information

'Student claiming' is the process where districts indicate that a student is or will be enrolled and attending school in their district. EWIS reports may be incomplete or blank if this process is not complete. And if students are not in the correct grade, that may be an result of inaccurate claiming.  For questions about whether all of your students have been claimed, ask your district office or the SIMS contact about the claiming process. SIMS contacts are listed on your district's Profiles page: look up your school or district, select People on the left menu, and search for SIMS contact. 
Which EWIS Report Should You Use?

Now that EWIS is available, pop open Edwin and look at an EWIS report!  But which one? You may use any, of course, but this might help focus your time. 
  • Do you work directly with students? Start with the Student Lists to see who is most at risk right now. See students' full details - attendance, course grades, MCAS and more - to begin to understand some underlying causes of risk. 
  • Do you work with adults who work with students? Try the District Views to understand which schools and grades have the largest numbers of at risk students.
  • Or use the Subgroup Analysis to understand population strengths and needs, and the Indicator Analysis to examine trends. 
As you wrap up your review of the reports, identify patterns and summarize key findings. Use these tools to organize your thoughts, or adapt another data protocol that works for you. 
Using EWIS in Planning College Readiness Supports

With EWIS, educators can see exactly who is at risk of missing three important college readiness milestones, even when students are in 10th grade. Use the Postsecondary EWIS reports to learn who is at risk of missing College Enrollment, Academic Readiness and College Persistence, when diagnosing and when planning college readiness interventions.
  • With the Postsecondary District View, identify which grades, schools and postsecondary outcomes to prioritize.
  • With the Postsecondary Indicator Analysis, analyze attendance, behavior, and course-taking or academic trends to provide nuance across and within risk groups. 
  • Use the Postsecondary Student List to see students' names and their risk levels alongside their previous year's performance and other student characteristics. 
See Step 2 at the Early Warning Implementation Cycle Tutorial for more. 
Coming Soon: Monitoring Students' Risk throughout the School Year

The EWIS team is developing two new resources that will be available soon. One tool will allow users to manage data files, assign students to interventions, and monitor and respond to students' risk throughout the year. And a new Edwin report will show which students are off track for Attendance and Suspensions using data reported through SIF. Watch for more in the September newsletter. 
Take Steps Now! 

Even if you have just a little time, you can get started. 
  • If you have an hour or more, pull up EWIS reports to understand who is most at risk and begin to identify underlying causes of students' risk. 
  • If you have 20 minutes, scan the District View report to get a sense of the scale of risk for your students, and the Indicator Analysis to get a sense of indicator trends. Book time to return to this on your own or with colleagues, and to dive into the Student List.
  • If you have 5 minutes, book time on your calendar to return to this early in the school year. Talk with your district’s Directory Administrator to request the appropriate level of access for your role.
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