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Office of College, Career and Technical Education

EWIS Monitoring

Monitoring Student Risk throughout the School Year

Schools collect student data on a regular basis. At times, it can be difficult to cut through the volume of information and understand who is at risk and for what reason, and to track what is being done about it. In fact, educators can hone in on key indicators to identify which students are showing signs of academic risk throughout the school year.

Research shows that ABC's — attendance, behavior & course performance — are particularly powerful indicators of students' academic risk (Allensworth & Easton, 2005; Balfanz, Herzog & MacIver, 2007). Examining these at regular intervals (two, three or four times a year) and comparing them to thresholds allow educators to identify students if they begin to go off track. Catching changes in student risk right away and assigning programmatic supports can bring students back on track quickly.

This practice of monitoring ABCs can help districts and schools identify trends in student needs, and make recommendations for school-wide improvements such as changes in schedules, curriculum, or instructional approaches.

Monitoring strategies and tools can be simple or complex. The best tools are any that are used to impact students. The department has developed several resources for monitoring student risk.

Getting Started with DESE's EWIS Monitoring Resources

Watch Video
Developing an Early Warning Monitoring System
Short instructional video about setting up an early warning monitoring system to monitor student risk and adjust supports
Download PowerPoint File
Monitoring Students' Risk throughout the Year
Handout with tips for setting up an early warning monitoring system

Using the EWIS Monitoring Tool

Download Excel Document
Monitoring Tool
This is a pilot tool. Please email if you have any issues or questions.Excel-based tool to combine students' EWIS Risk Levels with other data, assign students to interventions and update this throughout the year
(See Data File Templates at the bottom of this page.)
Watch Video
Using the EWIS Monitoring Tool
Short instructional video about DESE's Monitoring Tool
Download PDF Document
Using the EWIS Monitoring Tool
Quick reference guide about DESE's Monitoring Tool
Download PDF Document
EWIS Monitoring Tool Guidance Document
Document for use alongside the Monitoring Tool

Using the EWIS Monitoring Report in Edwin

Download Word Document
EWIS Monitoring Report Guidance Document
This report in Edwin provides students' attendance and number of suspensions for the current school year as reported via SIF. It has been updated for the 2020-21 school year to include overall attendance, in-person attendance and remote attendance information.

Monitoring student risk throughout the year is an important part of a data-driven cycle of inquiry. Whereas EWIS reports show a snapshot students' risk of missing academic milestones at the beginning of the school year, ongoing monitoring updates the picture of student risk for more responsive interventions.

Early Warning Implementation Cycle

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.

The template data files below illustrate the format for loading student enrollment, EWIS and ABCs files into the monitoring tool. See the Monitoring Tool and Monitoring Tool Guidance Document for more.

 Download CSV File
Student enrollment file
 Download CSV File
EWIS file
 Download CSV File
ABCs file for early check
 Download CSV File
ABCs file for grading period 1
 Download CSV File
ABCs file for grading periods 2 and beyond

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

Last Updated: October 28, 2020

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

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