Educators have long known that social and emotional learning (SEL) matters for students in school and life. But how does SEL relate to attendance, behavior, and course performance (the “ABCs”)? Do students with higher SEL tend to have better grades, test scores, and attendance?
A K-12 early warning system is more than just a technology platform. For an early warning system (EWS) to truly change student outcomes, it’s essential to build human processes and protocols around taking action on the data to support at-risk students.
School leaders and educators at McDevitt Middle School (Waltham, Mass.) know this well. Over the last year and a half, school teams at McDevitt—led by Principal Mike Sabin—have operationalized the use of early warning indicators across the school. From structured EWS meetings to action planning protocols, McDevitt has taken a multi-pronged approach in order to equip educators with the knowledge and tools they need to change outcomes for each and every student.
Many schools and districts that have implemented an early warning system (EWS) build in structured time for educators and staff to review and collaborate on early warning data. Beyond using this time to identify at-risk students, educators find that EWS meetings are a valuable opportunity to create action plans for supporting these students.
The ways that educators use early warning indicators to support students have evolved over the last few decades.
Early warning systems (EWS) were originally developed for dropout prevention using the “ABCs” of student data: attendance, behavior, and coursework. With these strong indicators, schools and districts could identify students who were at risk of not graduating high school.