For a number of years, we have heard that our nation has a dropout crisis. The ESSA requires that every state’s Title I plan must “include how they will support districts in meeting needs of students in middle grades to improve effective transitions to middle and high school to reduce risk of dropping out.”
Five-Star Technology Solutions is honored to have partnered with The National Forum for Middle Grades Reform to build an Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) to aid in dropout prevention. With this tool, educators can quickly identify at-risk students and assign intervention plans. Until now, the great challenge with implementing an EWIS has been the ability to quickly and frequently identify our students who exhibit a warning indicator. Five-Star’s Early Warning Indicator System is built on the research of Robert Balfanz from Johns Hopkins University, which identified the early warning indicators. Our Pivot software lets schools know, on a daily basis, when a student crosses an indicator threshold which shows which students are likely to drop out. We call these indicators the ABC’s of early warning: Attendance, Behavior, and Course Grades. Knowing who the students are who display an early warning indicator gives us the opportunity to change the trajectory for these students.
Through the development of the Early Warning Indicator System in Pivot’s Data Warehouse, schools across the country will now be able to simply run a report to identify students exhibiting each of the early warning indicators. Quickly identifying students in need of an intervention is the first great challenge we have solved. However, identifying the correct interventions for students requires more than just flagging them. That is why the Pivot system allows you to drill into all of the data your district has on a student to identify the root causes of the current issues. Once students’ specific needs are identified, students can be grouped in the Pivot Data Warehouse so that their progress can be easily monitored and so that that group can easily be assigned to intervention in our Pivot Interventions module.
A student or group of students can be assigned to a specific intervention, goals set, progress monitoring tools identified, and progress data collected all in one place with the ability to share that information automatically with anyone in the building who works with that child. A report in the Data Warehouse will also help you track the success of the interventions assigned to your students. Our intervention progress report allows you to see which students are in which intervention, what their original score or data was, and their most recent score or data so that you can make sure the interventions assigned to students are working for them.
The Five-Star Pivot tools were developed in partnership with The National Forum for Middle Grades Reform who has been working over the past few years to implement early warning indicators. Their work has greatly informed effective practices in identifying and intervening with students at risk of dropping out. In addition to the software Five-Star provides, The National Forum has a cadre of trainers across the nation who will come to schools to train staffs on the research and effective practices when schools decide to use our solution to help meet their drop-out prevention goals.
Written by Schauna Findlay Relue