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Office of College, Career and Technical Education

Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS)

EWIS information for the 2020-2021 school year

EWIS information for the 2020-2021 school year will be posted in Edwin by August 21, 2020.

EWIS for the upcoming year will be different than in years past due to COVID-19 and its impact on information available from the 2019-20 school year. We lack many key data points we would need to apply the statistical models and assign EWIS risk levels such as assessment, attendance, and behavior information that are critical toward creating strong risk modeling. For the 2020-2021 school year, we will not assign students a High, Moderate, or Low EWIS risk level. We will provide student level EWIS reports that have available relevant information from the 2019-20 school year as well as their risk level from the prior school year, their 2019 MCAS scores and other data points from the 2018-19 school year.

The only updated reports will be EW601, EW602 and EW611. These student level reports will require an "Administrator" security role to be designated by your local Edwin Analytics contact. It is highly suggested that school counselors, and school and district administrators be designated with this role to fully engage with the information available.

For more information on the data available in Edwin, please refer to Understanding the 2021 EWIS Student Level Files Download Word Document.

Massachusetts educators do not have to wait for students to fail to know they are at risk. They can step in sooner with EWIS.

With the Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS), the state provides tools for districts to identify students who are at risk of not meeting important academic goals to help students get back on track. This comprehensive system spans first grade through high school graduation and beyond.

Using the EWIS tools alongside local context, educators can explore underlying causes leading to academic risk and develop additional supports to meet the unique strengths and needs of their students.

Hear counselors, school administrators, superintendents, and others describe the value of using EWIS.

ResourcesEarly Warning Starter KitUsing the Early Warning Implementation Cycle to Create Student-centered SupportsBuilding an EWIS Community
You are: … new to using EWIS or would like a refresher. … comfortable with EWIS basics; you want to understand students' strengths and needs, and meet them with targeted interventions in a reflective cycle. … an EWIS fan, and you want to strengthen the use of EWIS at your school or district.
You might be interested in: Quick Takes —
Download Word Document
Using EWIS
Download Word Document
Using Postsecondary EWIS
Download Word Document
Using the high school graduation EWIS
Download PDF Document
Using EWIS in Early Elementary Grades
Ten districts were awarded grants to enhance EWIS and data use for one year. See highlights and examples of their work.

Download PDF Document
Early Warning Implementation Guide
Download Word Document
Appendix A (November 2017)
Download Word Document
Postsecondary Risks, Appendix D (September 2017)
View HTML Page
Download PDF Document
What it is & what it isn't
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Why use EWIS?
Watch Video
Massachusetts EWIS Ensures All Students Reach Goals
Watch Video
Using the Early Warning Implementation Cycle in High Schools
Watch Video
Using the K12 EWIS Reports in Edwin
Download Word Document
Using EWIS in the context of Educator Evaluation

To understand the context of your district or school even better, use EWIS alongside several tools and short instructional videos.

EWIS Milestones:
Download Excel Document
EWIS Milestones Data

Use this report to understand how many students are meeting important academic milestones statewide, for schools and districts, and by subgroups.
Using DESE's College Readiness tools: With these short instructional videos about DESE's data tools, find enrollment, dropout, graduation and college success trends and early warning risk data for your current and former students.
Analysis of Dropout Data for 2019: This Excel workbook is designed for analyzing characteristics of students who have dropped out of school in the 2018-19 school year.
District Analysis & Review Tools (DART):With these Excel tools, users can explore district & school performance over time. In particular, the Success after High School DART is an Excel tool showing secondary and postsecondary trends over time. (use with CCR Video Part 1)
Using the FAFSA Completion Reports Download Word DocumentThis guidance document explains several Edwin reports designed for users to examine FAFSA completion status.
Using the Workforce Employment and Earnings Report Download Word DocumentThis guidance document explains an Edwin report designed for users to examine Massachusetts workforce employment and earnings trends.
The ABCs of Success in High School and BeyondThis data story provides information for parents, community members, and educators from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on how attendance, behavior, and course performance in Massachusetts high schools affect postsecondary outcomes.

Where does EWIS come from?

6 Step Early Warning Implementation Cycle: Step 1- Get Organized; Step 2- Review EWIS Data;  Summer/Beginning of School Year; Step 3- Explore Underlying Causes; Step 4- Take Action Repeat throughout the School Year; Step 5- Monitor Students and Interventions; Step 6- Refine the Process End of School Year/Summer.
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Development of the Massachusetts EWIS
Download Word Document
EWIS Risk Model Development, Grades 1–6
Download Word Document
EWIS Risk Model Development, Grades 7–12

  • 'We identified two areas to begin the work in: math and attendance.'

  • 'If we see that an intervention isn't having an effect, we try something else.'

  • 'First quarter failures are down from last year by quite a bit.'

  • 'These kids were at risk of dropping out — now they're talking about rooming together in college.'

  • 'We used EWIS risk to narrow in on 30 students and understand attendance more deeply.'

  • 'We're assigning success mentors, related to students' tardies and attendance.'

  • 'We can at least make sure that each High Risk student has an adult who's connecting with them — looking out for them — every day.'

If you need an alternate version of this material, please contact

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.