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Prevent Dropout with an Early Warning System

Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool

Screenshot of the Early Warning System (EWS) Middle Grades ToolThe National High School Center's Early Warning System (EWS) Middle Grades Tool enables schools and districts to identify students who may be at risk for academic failure and to monitor these students’ responses to interventions. The tool relies on student level data available at the school or district including indicators for attendance, course failures, and behavior (if available) to calculate potential risk for eventual dropping out. The intended purpose is to support students with an increased risk of academic failure, in order to get them back on track for academic success and eventual graduation.

The EWS Middle Grades Tool and supporting documents can be downloaded below.

Download the EWS Middle Grades Tool
System requirements
PC: Excel 2003 or later.
Mac: Excel 11.0 (part of Office 2004) or Excel 14.0 (part of Office 2011).
Please note: the EWS Middle Grades Tool cannot be run in Excel 12.0 (part of Office 2008) as this version does not support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros.


Functionality and features of the EWS Middle Grades Tool

  • Customize the tool settings to reflect the local context (e.g., student demographics, number of grading periods, and kindergarten cut-off date);
  • Modify the benchmarks/thresholds for indicators based on analysis of longitudinal data;
  • Integrate locally validated incoming risk status indicators, such as attendance, to identify students who may need additional support;
  • Identify at-risk students based on a kindergarten cut-off date which determines whether a student is two years or more over the typical age for middle grades enrollment;
  • Import student-level data from existing data systems;
  • Group students with a customizable cohort variable;
  • House an inventory of interventions available to students;
  • Assign and monitor student interventions over time; and
  • Produce reports including student- and school-level data summaries (both pre-programmed and custom).

 

National High School Center Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool Technical Manual
The National High School Center Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool Technical Manual is available to help districts and schools understand and effectively use the EWS Middle Grades Tool. The Technical Manual instructs users on setting up and navigating the tool, inputting data, printing reports, and avoiding common technological pitfalls. (May 2012)


Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool Source File Collators

The National High School Center’s Source File Collators are an ideal way to consolidate student data into a source file that can be easily imported into the Early Warning System (EWS) Middle Grades and High School Tools. These Collators are particularly helpful for schools or districts that maintain various pieces of student data in different Student Information Systems, or that are unable to generate a single report with all the student information in the specific order required by the Source Files. Each free, downloadable Microsoft Excel-based file includes a Collator and instructions for use. (March 2013)
  • The Middle Grades Student Information Collator combines available student demographic information such as name, ID number, ELL, disadvantaged and disability status and race. This source file can then be uploaded into the Student Information page of the Middle Grades Tool.

  • The Middle Grades Student Performance Data Collator creates source files that contain a students’ academic, attendance and behavior data. This source file can then be uploaded to the Student Performance page of the EWS Middle Grades Tool.
Note: The EWS Tools and Source File Collators cannot be run on Excel 12.0 for Macs (part of Office 2008) as this version does not support Visual Basic Applications (VBA) macros.


Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool Source Files

Source File Template Source File Templates
Before they can be imported into the EWS Middle Grades Tool, these data source files need to be saved as comma-separated values (.csv) or tab delimited (.txt) files. To convert an Excel file to either format, open the file and click 'Save As' under the 'File' tab. In the dialog box, specify a unique name in the 'File name:' field. In the 'Save as type:' field, select 'CSV (comma delimited)' or 'Text (Tab delimited)' from the drop-down menu. In cases that the data include commas, use the tab delimited option.
 
Source File with Sample Data Source Files with Sample Data
These data source files are pre-loaded with sample data, and can be imported into the EWS Middle Grades Tool in order to preview how the tool works. These files are saved as comma-separated values (.csv) files. These files represent a school that records attendance on a quarterly basis and course grades each semester, so the tool should be set to a quarter system on the Tool Settings page. Please view the Tool Setup File for tool settings needed for use with the sample data.
 
Early Warning Systems for High School and the Middle Grades
This brochure details what early warning systems are and how they can be used to identify and support students who are at risk of school dropout. It provides a brief overview of the EWS High School and Middle Grades Tools, as well as the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS) process. (February 2012)

 

If you have been using or are interested in our EWS resources, a new website has been created (http://www.earlywarningsystems.org) for this purpose, and if you are looking for additional support and services, please email us at earlywarning@air.org