North Dakota Rural Dropout Prevention Project

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Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System Implementation Process
Description: This webinar will focus on sharing lessons learned from evaluations of implementation of early warning intervention and monitoring system (EWIMS) processes to support dropout prevention. Prior to discussing the EWIMS implementation process, the presenter will provide an overview of the research base on early warning systems for high school graduation.

Background: The high school dropout problem is widely known to be a national crisis, and solving this problem is critical to the future success of students. According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on the 2011–2012 school year, only 75 percent of public high school students graduated on time. Both historically and currently, the problem is particularly severe among students of color and students with disabilities (Greene & Winters, 2005; Stillwell, 2010; U.S. Department of Education, 2006).

An early warning system (EWS) includes data points, analysis, and action to provide at-risk students with support and interventions. States, districts and schools are increasingly using EWSs to identify students who are at risk of dropping out of high school to target limited resources toward supporting students who are falling off track for graduation.  Informed by research on academic and behavioral predictors of high school dropout (Allensworth & Easton, 2005, 2007; Neild & Balfanz, 2006; Silver, Saunders, & Zarate, 2008; Therriault & Jung, 2013), such systems may provide a promising approach—or a necessary prerequisite—to effective dropout prevention (Dynarski et al., 2008). The intent of an EWS is to systematically use data to identify students who are at risk for dropping out of high school and match them with supports and interventions to help them get on track for graduation (Heppen & Therriault, 2008; Kennelly & Monrad, 2007; Neild, Balfanz, & Herzog, 2007; Pinkus, 2008).