Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  
arrow
arrow
arrow
arrow
arrow
>
>
>

Future Ready Logo

College and Career Readiness

Why use EWIS?

Massachusetts educators have a lot to be proud of: our students continually outrank other states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); our four-year graduation rate has increased for the tenth consecutive year; and the high school dropout rate is at its lowest point on record. Despite these achievements, however, there are large and persistent gaps in proficiency, graduation rates and college engagement across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts educators have important work ahead to prepare all students for success, both in high school and after high school. EWIS is one tool that DESE provides to districts for this work.

Massachusetts EWIS, or Early Warning Indicator System, systematically identifies students at risk of missing an important academic milestone. With attendance rates, behavior incidents, course performance and other valuable data, EWIS predicts a student's level of risk or likelihood of not reaching a milestone, absent interventions.

Massachusetts EWIS Student Risk Levels
High RiskAt Risk for not reaching the upcoming academic milestone
~25% of High Risk students meet the academic milestone
Moderate RiskModerately at risk for not reaching the upcoming academic milestone
~60% of Moderate Risk students meet the academic milestone
Low RiskLikely to reach the upcoming academic milestone
~90% of Low Risk students meet the academic milestone

But the risk levels are not a 'life sentence' - and should not be used to place students into a particular academic track or to lower academic expectations. Educators can develop targeted interventions, allowing students to follow a path to success. Using EWIS in combination with local data and context, educators can explore underlying factors leading to academic risk and respond early, meeting the unique strengths and needs of their students. This approach may lead to interventions at the individual, small group, and whole school or district-wide levels.

The Massachusetts EWIS identifies students at risk across the academic trajectory, from early elementary through postsecondary success. The milestones were thoughtfully chosen: they are important to the success of Massachusetts students, and are actionable for educators working with students in each grade grouping. For students in grades 10-12 there are four risk levels: high school graduation and three outcomes of college success.

Massachusetts EWIS Academic Milestones
Grade
Grouping
Academic Milestone
Expected student outcome
Grades 1-3Reading by the End of Third Grade
Proficiency on 3rd grade ELA state assessment
Grades 4-6Middle School Ready
Proficiency on 6th grade ELA and math state assessments
Grades 7-9High School Ready
Passing grades on all 9th grade courses
Grades 10-12High School Graduation
Meeting all local and state graduation requirements
College Enrollment
Enrolling in postsecondary education
Academic Readiness
Enrolling in credit-bearing courses without remedial education
College Persistence
Persisting in the second year of postsecondary education

Research is clear that a variety of factors contribute to a student's likelihood of reaching academic goals. EWIS is a starting point; using EWIS in a data-driven cycle of inquiry, educators can influence a student's academic trajectory by intervening early. EWIS data and tools - in conjunction with local context and interventions - can help prepare more students for success.

More resources are available on the EWIS website or contact EWIS@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: July 12, 2017
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE