Office of College, Career and Technical Education

EWIS Frequently Asked Questions

Important for 2019-2020 School year:

  • Why am I seeing only a few students — or no students — in my district or school?

    EWIS reports may be incomplete or blank if the student claiming process is not complete.

    Incomplete data for SIF-enabled districts occurs when 2019 students have been un-claimed and not re-claimed for 2020. SIF-enabled districts must rollover their Student Information System (SIS) and keep the SIF agent on for the 2020 school year in order to claim their current students and view their EWIS data. See the Student Claiming User Guide for details.

    For questions about whether all of your students have been claimed, ask your district office or the SIMS contact about the claiming process. SIMS contacts are listed on your district's Profiles page: look up your school or district, select People on the left menu, and search for SIMS contact.

  • Why do all or the majority of my students have a NA risk level?

    Districts that do not meet the due dates for statewide collections will not have EWIS data in the initial release in Edwin Analytics in time for the start of the school year. If they have completed claiming but did not submit the statewide data collections (SCS, EPIMS, SSDR) in time, students will appear with a NA risk level for Not Available. This may also impact a particular grade, like 9th grade for high school or vocational district who’s feeder districts did not submit on time.

    Once data is complete, a small portion of students may still have risk level NA. Most of these students were not enrolled in Massachusetts public school the prior year. No risk level can be determined since the Department does not have data about the students' prior school year. In some cases, high school students lacked course performance information (their courses were noted as complete but no grades were provided). These students were also unable to receive a risk level due to insufficient information.

  • When will Postsecondary EWIS data be available for all 11th graders?

    The Postsecondary EWIS predicting risk for college enrollment academic readiness and college persistence for rising 11th graders use grade 10 MCAS scores to calculate risk levels. In Spring 2019, students in grade 10 were the first to take the next-generation high school tests in ELA and Mathematics. Results for grade 10 ELA and Math MCAS are not available until late August. Once these scores are available, postsecondary risk levels for rising 11th graders will be calculated.

General FAQ:

  • What is the Early Warning Indicator System, or EWIS?

    The EWIS is a tool to systematically identify students that may need additional attention in order to reach an upcoming academic goal.

  • How do I use EWIS?

    Schools and districts use EWIS alongside local data to hone tiered levels of support needed for student-centered supports. Schools can use EWIS to identify and support high-risk students with school-wide strategies and targeted interventions. Districts and schools can also use EWIS to examine school-level patterns over time and address systemic issues that may impede a student's ability to meet academic goals. For more about using EWIS in a data inquiry cycle, see the Early Warning Implementation on-demand e-learning tutorial on the EWIS web page.

  • How is EWIS developed?

    EWIS is developed by looking at the actual outcomes for Massachusetts students in prior years and statistically validating a wide range of student level data to predict whether our current students are on track to meet upcoming academic goals. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education created EWIS in direct response to educators' requests for an indication at early grade levels and throughout high school. The Department first released the Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) data for grades 1–12 in 2012-13, and expanded EWIS to include postsecondary outcomes in 2016-2017.

  • What does the EWIS predict?

    For students entering grades 1–12, EWIS shows the likelihood of missing relevant academic milestones throughout the academic trajectory — if no interventions are provided. For students entering grades 10-12, EWIS also provides the likelihood of missing college success milestones after high school — again, if no interventions are provided.

    The Massachusetts EWIS
     Age GroupGradesAcademic Milestones : Expected student outcomes
    K–12Early Elementary1, 2,3Reading by the end of third grade
    Meeting or exceeding expectations on the 3rd grade ELA Massachusetts State Assessment
    Late Elementary4, 5, 6Middle school ready
    Meeting or exceeding expectations on 6th grade ELA and Mathematics State Assessments
    Middle Grades7, 8, 9High school ready
    Passing grades on all 9th grade courses
    High School10, 11, 12High school graduation
    Completing high school graduation requirements in four years
    PostsecondaryCollege Enrollment
    Enrolling in postsecondary education
    Academic Readiness
    Enrolling in credit-bearing courses without developmental education
    College Persistence
    Enrolling in a second year of postsecondary education

  • What are Early Warning Risk Levels?

    Risk Levels are calculated for students using data from the previous year. Risk Levels are the likelihood of missing an academic milestone without intervention.

    Massachusetts EWIS Student Risk Levels
    Risk LevelBased on data from last school year, the student is …
    High Risk At risk for not reaching the upcoming academic milestone
    Approximately 25% of high-risk students meet the upcoming milestone.

    Example: A 7th grade student identified as High Risk in EWIS is at high risk of not passing all 9th grade courses

    Moderate Risk Moderately at risk for not reaching the upcoming academic milestone
    Approximately 60% of moderate risk students meet the upcoming milestone.

    Example: A 2nd grade student identified as Moderate Risk in EWIS is at moderate risk of not meeting or exceeding expectations on the 3rd grade ELA state assessments

    Low Risk Likely to reach the upcoming academic milestone
    Approximately 90% of low risk students meet the upcoming milestone.

    Example: A 5th grade student identified as Low Risk in the EWIS is likely to meet or exceed expectations on the 6th grade ELA & math state assessments.


  • How many Risk Levels does each student have?

    Risk levels are calculated for students educated in Massachusetts public schools the previous year. Students in grades 1 through 9 may have one risk level. Students in grades 10, 11 and 12 may have four risk levels: high school graduation, college enrollment, academic readiness and college persistence.

    For example, an 11th grade student may be at low risk of missing high school graduation; moderate risk of missing college enrollment; and high risk of missing academic readiness and college persistence. This means the student is likely to graduate from high school; and if additional support is not provided, is at some risk of not enrolling in college, and is unlikely to enroll in credit bearing coursework and a second year of college.

  • Why are students at risk?

    Although EWIS can show that students are at risk, it does not clarify why students are at risk. EWIS risk levels and indicator data are signs or symptoms of deeper, more complex problems related to student achievement. The EWIS reports can be used alongside local data to develop a picture of underlying causes of risk. For more about exploring underlying causes of student risk, see Step 3 of the Early Warning Implementation on-demand e-learning tutorial on the EWIS web page.

  • Where can I find EWIS Reports?

    EWIS data are available through EDWIN Analytics, a free tool for all public school districts in the state. There are currently eight reports.

    There are five K–12 reports for the Early Elementary through High School Graduation outcomes:

    • District View (EW301)
    • Risk Level Indicator Analysis (EW317)
    • Student List (EW601)
    • Subgroup Analysis (EW318)
    • Graphical View (EW302)

    There are three reports for Postsecondary Success outcomes:

    • Postsecondary District View (EW303)
    • Postsecondary Risk Level Indicator Analysis (EW319)
    • Student List-Postsecondary (EW602)

    All reports may be filtered to look at a particular school, grade, and student population. Some reports are hyperlinked to other reports and to the Student Profile report (PR600).

  • What reports are available for the K-12 outcomes?

    District View (EW301)

    This report is a good place to start your review. It provides a district-wide summary of student risk levels, by school and by grade, and is hyperlinked to the Student List (EW601).

    Use it to address questions such as —

    • Where can the district channel additional resources to get students back on track for meeting the next academic goal?
    • Where might the district prioritize support?

    Risk Level Indicator Analysis (EW317)

    This report can be used to analyze specific attendance, behaviors, and course indicators to provide nuance across and within risk groups, which is useful in diagnosing and planning interventions. This report is helpful to answer —

    • Do attendance and suspension rates vary across Risk Levels?
    • Which courses do High Risk students pass the least? Which do they pass the most?
    • Are there areas within a grade where universal (Tier I) changes may help students?

    Student List (EW601)

    This report is useful for educators investigating particular students. The student list includes Risk Levels for each student alongside other information such as indicators used in the EWIS model, past Risk Levels and student characteristics. Clicking on hyperlinks in the District View (EW301) will take a user to this report.

    Use this when you are considering —

    • What are the current Risk Levels of my students? What are their Risk Levels from last year?
    • Who are my High Risk students?
    • What data points or indicators went into the calculation to determine the Risk Levels?

    This report is also hyperlinked to the Student Report (PR600), a detailed report with historical information for all the years that a student has been enrolled in Massachusetts public schools.

    EWIS Subgroup Analysis (EW318)

    The Subgroup Report summarizes Risk Levels for demographic subgroups such as Racial/Ethnic groups, groups with High Needs and gender. Use this report to consider —

    • Is there a noticeable difference in risk levels for certain subgroups?
    • How do the Risk Levels within a district (or school or grade) vary across racial/ethnic groups and gender?
    • Are there student populations with similar characteristics — for example, African American students, or students formerly in ELL — who might benefit from additional services or interventions?

    Graphical View (EW302)

    This report has graphs of student Risk Level comparing a subgroup to the district and the state currently, and for the past five years. It is most useful for understanding —

    • How does one student subgroup compare to the district and the state?
    • What are the past Risk Levels of my current students?
      • For example, what are the historical Risk Levels on my current 4th grade male ELL students?
    • What are the past Risk Levels for students with these characteristics?
      • For example, what are the historical Risk Levels on 4th grade male ELL students, from each of the past five years?

  • What reports are available for the postsecondary outcomes?

    Postsecondary District View (EW303)

    This report is a good place to start your postsecondary review. It provides a district-wide summary of student risk levels, by school and by grade, and is hyperlinked to the Student List (EW602).

    Use it to address questions such as —

    • Where can the district channel additional resources to get students back on track for meeting college success goals?
    • Where might the district prioritize college readiness support?

    Postsecondary Risk Level Indicator Analysis (EW319)

    This report can be used to analyze specific attendance, behaviors, and course-taking or academic trends to provide nuance across and within risk groups, which is useful in diagnosing and planning college readiness interventions. This report is hyperlinked to the Student List (EW602).

    This report is helpful to answer —

    • Do attendance and suspension rates vary across Risk Levels?
    • Which courses do High Risk students pass the least? Which do they pass the most?
    • Are there areas within a grade where universal (Tier I) changes may help students?

    Student List — Postsecondary (EW602)

    This report is useful for educators investigating particular students. The student list contains Risk Levels for High School Graduation plus the three Postsecondary milestones, alongside student data used in the EWIS model and other student characteristics. Clicking on hyperlinks in the postsecondary District View (EW303) or Risk Level Indicator Analysis (EW319) will take a user to this report.

    Use this when you are considering —

    • What are the current Risk Levels of my students?
    • Are the Risk Levels different for College Enrollment, Academic Readiness and Persistence?
    • What are the indicators, or individual data points used in the Risk Level calculation, for my students?

    This report is also hyperlinked to the Student Report (PR600), a detailed report with historical information for all the years that a student has been enrolled in Massachusetts public schools.

  • How can I access Edwin Analytics?

    Edwin Analytics is available through the Mass/Edu Gateway/Security Portal. If you did not have access to Edwin Analytics, contact your district's Directory Administrator to request it or to see that you have an appropriate level of access for your role.

  • What level of data access is needed to see the EWIS Reports?

    Several EWIS Reports are available to users with access to school and district aggregate reports within the education data warehouse. Student List reports are available to users who have access to student-level information within a school and/or district.

  • Why are only some of my 9th graders in the Postsecondary Outcome student level report?

    EWIS risk levels for the postsecondary outcomes are created for anticipated 10th, 11th and 12th graders. Students who were 9th graders in the 2017-18 school year and are repeating 9th grade in the 2018-19 school year were provided risk levels for the postsecondary outcomes and may appear in the EW602 report. First time 9th graders are not included in these reports.

  • Will the EWIS reports be updated during the school year? What will change?

    The EWIS Reports will be updated in September/October. In this update, there may be Risk Levels assigned for additional students. This affects districts that submitted the Student Course Schedule (SCS) or School Safety Discipline Report (SSDR) data after the end of year collection dates.

    Once calculated, the risk level for an individual student will not change (except for rare instances). However, the numbers, percentages and specific students appearing on reports may change throughout the year to reflect current school/district enrollment. Students who change schools and districts throughout the school year will appear in the appropriate reports once they are claimed by the new school/district. An individual student's risk level is not recalculated throughout the school year.

  • Are there more EWIS Reports planned?

    Several of the EWIS reports have been developed based on feedback from users like you. Please let us know how EWIS Reports can be even more useful to you. Email EWIS@doe.mass.edu with your suggestions.

  • Where can I learn more?

    The EWIS Team has compiled a variety of resources.

  • I still have questions. Who can help?

    Email the EWIS team at EWIS@doe.mass.edu and the EWIS Team will get back to you with a response.

 
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