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Early Warning Systems: Videos Share Benefits and Demonstrate Effective Practices

April 27, 2018


An early warning system (EWS) uses a combination of data and structured teams to identify students who are at risk of dropping out of school. It can be a powerful tool for adjusting disparities among student groups and strategically developing supports to help all students graduate on time.

The Montana EWS, which all public schools in the state can use for free, captures live data to determine the dropout risk for all students. To help the Montana Office of Public Instruction spread the word about the system, REL Northwest produced two videos.

The first video, Why Use the Montana Early Warning System?, spotlights Libby, Livingston, and St. Ignatius' three districts that have boosted their graduation rates by using the Montana EWS. Learn why school leaders continue to invest in this strategy and how it's changing the way staff members and students interact with one another.

The second video, How to Run a Successful EWS Team Meeting, demonstrates how an EWS team can assist struggling students and plan individualized supports in a one-hour meeting. The EWS team from St. Ignatius High School—where the graduation rate rose from 77 percent in 2014 to 89 percent in 2016—models a simple yet effective protocol that can work in any school.

Looking for more EWS resources? Our practitioner's guide describes and provides examples of EWS implementation strategies in use across the country. Additionally, the REL Learning Series on Early Warning Systems includes webinars, videos, tools, infographics, and reports from all 10 RELs.