A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

July, 2018
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Banner headline 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

Welcome to the first edition of the EWIS e-newsletter! This periodic e-newsletter includes tips and strategies, announcements for upcoming events and new resources, and most importantly, examples from people like you who are using EWIS throughout the year to improve students' experiences.

EWIS is a prediction tool that systematically identifies students who may need additional attention in order to reach an upcoming academic milestone. Educators also use EWIS in a thoughtful cycle throughout the year to hone tiered student-centered supports - from school-wide strategies to targeted interventions. For more about using EWIS in a data inquiry cycle, see the Early Warning Implementation on-demand e-learning tutorial on the EWIS web page.

We hope you will find this useful and inspiring, and as always, thank you for all that you do.

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

Join the EWIS workshop on September 21. 

Would you like a sneak preview of EWIS resources? We sometimes hold feedback sessions. There's no obligation, and the feedback helps shape what we develop. Email for more.

With the help of EWIS, school counselors in one district saw that tardies were creeping up among students who were at risk. Knowing that tardies may be an early sign of students disengaging from school, they wanted to turn this around quickly.

Educators got together and discussed strategies to build connections among students. They decided to offer lunchtime dance parties to grade teams with the lowest tardy rates. This turned out to be a huge hit!

Do you have an EWIS data story? Send examples of how you and your team have used EWIS to improve outcomes for students. Your story may inspire others! 


Next EWIS Released in Late August
We are often asked if DESE could have EWIS risk levels ready in the early summer. That way, educators and leaders could refer to the reports at any point in the summer as they develop plans for the next school year. However, EWIS is developed from district datasets collected throughout the summer. The fact is, these are simply not available in time to develop the risk levels and publish them in Edwin before late August. (See Will Your District be Ready for EWIS? below for more.)

The next release of Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) data to schools and districts is scheduled to be available on or around August 24. Educators can review EWIS data in Edwin to understand which students are at risk of missing important academic milestones and develop additional supports tailored to their students’ strengths and needs.
Using EWIS with a Team

Using EWIS with a diverse, well-informed team is an effective way to identify and support students. The core team can include people with authority to make decisions about interventions, are familiar with diverse students and their strengths and needs, or have skills to access data from various systems. They also need a leader who champions the work by protecting time for it, and by resolving issues. The leader may want to play a more active role as well. If there's a team already using data to make decisions, they may be able to incorporate early warning data into their work. 

If you're on your own, you can still get started! Find a colleague who is interested in diving into data with you, and present interesting findings to your department or leadership. Your circle of collaborators can grow over time. See Step 1 of the Early Warning Implementation on-demand e-learning tutorial for more on preparing a team.
Will your District be Ready for EWIS?

EWIS reports may be incomplete if districts have not met data submission or student claiming deadlines. Anyone with questions about whether their district will be ready for EWIS can ask their district office or the SIMS contact whether student claiming will be complete and if data collections will be submitted on time. SIMS contacts are listed on each district’s Profiles page: look up your school or district, select "People" on the left menu, and search for the SIMS contact.
Access to Edwin Analytics

The EWIS reports - as well as other valuable reports from DESE - are available in Edwin Analytics, part of the Mass/Edu Gateway/Security Portal. You can reach this from the DESE home page. If you or someone on your team does not have access to Edwin Analytics, work with your district’s Directory Administrator to request the appropriate level of access for their role.

High school students who miss 10% or more of school days (20% for middle school students) are far less likely than their peers to graduate from high school in four years.

Many leaders check attendance risk in the first 20 or 30 days of school. Make plans now to looking at attendance in the first 20 days of school and intervene early to provide supports.  

See results for your school and for demographic groups on the Success after High School DART and The ABCs of Success in High School and Beyond.


EWIS website 

You may also find the College, Career, and Technical Education e-newsletter to be useful.
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