Finishing the Job – Building Capacity for Early Warning Systems in High Schools

We are recruiting school and district partners to engage in a 2.5 year project, funded by AT&T Aspire, to implement Early Warning Systems in high schools.

Project Vision

A system to identify, monitor and respond to student indicators with the most effective interventions is needed now more than ever as schools prepare to open after COVID-19 closures.

Early Warning Systems have been identified as a key driver of increases in high school graduation rates. They provide schools and district with a way to enable early identification of students and interventions.

The recently updated What Works Clearinghouse Guide for Dropout Prevention lists Early Warning Sys­tem (EWS) as the first strategy all schools should use. Despite this, the majority of high schools report that they are not using early warning systems and even a smaller percent report they are well implemented. Places where wide-scale use has been attained and sustained have been places where initial technical assistance to build district and school capacity was available. The Finish the Job Analysis conducted by the Everyone Graduates Center and Civic shows that in each state, a relatively few districts are responsible for most students who still are not graduating. Tar­geting these districts with the implementation and capacity support they need to implement and sustain EWS is a proven and cost-efficient means to Finish the Job.

Project Goal

Talent Development Secondary (TD) will provide pro­fessional development and technical assistance to school and district staff in five districts that produce a significant number of their state’s dropouts, to build and sustain EWS. TD will provide an intensive year of implementation and capacity-building support at both the district and school level. Up to 10 administrators and school staff will earn a certification from Johns Hopkins Univer­sity’s Everyone Graduates Center as EWS facilitators who has demonstrated their capacity to support EWS implementation.