Massachusetts educators now have the ability to easily access a wealth of information on individual students that will assist with early interventions and supports so that students are able to meet academic goals. The Massachusetts Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) is intended to be used as a “starting point” for identifying and supporting students who may be at-risk, or in need of additional support. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) worked closely with the national research organization American Institutes for Research (AIR) in developing risk models. The system identifies students as high, moderate, or low risk based on several contributing factors. These factors include attendance, income level, gender, special education status, age, residency category, Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MAS) status, core academic course status, and other indicators.
Before EWIS, data collection on individual students was laborious, time consuming, hard to assess and analyze. Too often, well-intentioned educators possessing limited resources to identify the services necessary to best serve the students who need support most were given this task. EWIS has modernized the way educator’s access meaningful information, acting as a “one-stop shop” that provides comparable data and a common language for Massachusetts schools.
At Normandin Middle School EWIS is a powerful tool, proven extremely flexible, a compliment to our data collection at the school and classroom levels, providing clear, specific information for individual students. At Normandin teachers review EWIS at-risk student metrics, in addition to their ongoing analysis of student grades, existing supports, common assessments, attendance, and annual MCAS results. This enhanced understanding of our student’s needs has broadened our staff’s personal connections with students, connecting all members of our learning community by a common language, as well as, driving the imperative that no student fall through the cracks.
This year our focus is on identifying students who have not achieved proficiency on MCAS. Guidance counselors are meeting with students one on one, using EWIS data as a resource, while academic teachers and administrators also have access to EWIS data in the development of targeted instructional support for students. It is our belief at Normandin Middle School that we need to do “whatever it takes” to ensure our students succeed. Getting EWIS data in the hands of our professional educators is a means to that end.
To learn more about EWIS click HERE