Early Warning Systems
The high school dropout problem in the United States has been called a national crisis. About 25% of all high school students leave the public school system before graduating (Snyder & Dillow, 2011). Early warning systems (EWS) use readily available school data to identify students who are at risk of dropping out, allowing educators to intervene early.
Schools can use information from an early warning system to support students who are at risk of dropping out with both school-wide strategies and targeted interventions. Districts and schools can use early warning system data to examine school-level patterns in the current school year and over time, in order to address systemic issues that may be impeding a student’s ability to graduate.
Learn More About Early Warning Systems
Learn about the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS) implementation process, which involves a complete cycle for EWS implementation at the school or district level. This seven-step process helps schools and districts systematically: 1) identify students who are showing signs that they are at risk of dropping out of high school; 2) match these students to interventions to get them back on track for graduation; and 3) monitor students' progress in those interventions.
Early Warning System High School Tool
Download the National High School Center's Early Warning System High School Tool and supporting documents.
Early Warning System Middle Grades Tool
Download the National High School Center'sEarly Warning System Middle Grades Tool and supporting documents.
Early Warning Systems Community of Practice
The National High School Center’s Early Warning Systems (EWS) Community of Practice is an online interactive community to allow EWS users and interested persons an opportunity to obtain technical or implementation support, learn from others, and share EWS strategies with other practitioners. The Community will provide members space to engage in discussions, post questions, participate in polls, and find supporting documents for National High School Center-related products.
To Join the Early Warning Systems Community of Practice:
- Navigate to http://community.betterhighschools.org.
- Complete the “Join and Learn More” form in the upper right of the home page.
- After you register, you will receive a verification email from email@example.com containing your password and additional instructions. This message will be sent automatically by the system immediately when you register; please check your spam/junk folder if it does not reach your inbox within a few minutes of registering. If you do not receive it all, please email Marshal Conley (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance.
- Click the image for the Early Warning Systems group on the community home page and click the “Join” button when you reach the Early Warning Systems home page.
Please let us know if you have questions. If you need technical support accessing the community site, please contact Marshal Conley (email@example.com) for assistance.
Questions about early warning systems or the EWS Middle Grades or High School Tools? Ask the National High School Center at EWS@betterhighschools.org.
Snyder, T.D., & Dillow, S.A. (2011). Digest of education statistics 2010 (NCES 2011-015). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.