STANDARDS FOR ACTIONS

EWS 2.0 Workgroup Guidance

In the Actions section of EWS 2.0, we present

~ workgroup guidance on standards for action

~ some possible strategies for beginning to take action in EWS 2.0 systems

How can a school that uses EWS 2.0 ensure that actions to help both individual students and larger groups of students will be effective?

These guidelines developed by the EWS 2.0 workgroups can help.

INTERVENTIONS AND RESPONSES

For the purposes of PAS, “actions” comprise both interventions and responses.

~ Each action is spurred by analysis of indicators.

~ Actions may be immediate or long-term.

~ Actions may take place at the individual, school, community, district, or state level. They may focus on entire populations at the school or institutional level, at regular intervals in a preventative manner; be tailored to groups of students with common characteristics and/or identified needs; or be case-managed for individual students.

~ Take an expansive view of what action can be. Create a resource map/list identifying student supports currently available, and those that can be developed or expanded, within the school and community. Also consider policy changes.

~ Implementation of the actions and supports can be made visible and measurable.

~ The outcomes of the targeted actions can be systematically monitored and measured against progress benchmarks.

~ Ongoing evaluation leads to continuous improvement. Actions can be changed if they are not working as intended, or when intended actions produce unintended consequences.

TAKING ACTION TO SUPPORT STUDENTS

Strategies for Success

Under EWS 2.0, raising expectations for all students’ postsecondary preparation can lead to the identification of more students who need support than educators may perceive existing resources will accommodate. Rather than allowing such a situation to overwhelm a school and hinder all progress toward providing students with greater support, schools can take a number of steps as they begin.

BE PROACTIVE.

Look for ways that a school’s actions can help prevent large numbers of students from falling off track. Examine policies and practices carefully to identify which ones may be counter-productive.

BE STRATEGIC.

Concentrate actions at high-leverage locations and times. Look for the classrooms or grade levels or times during the school day or academic year when an action will impact multiple off-track students.

FOCUS ON BUILDING SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS. 

Supportive, developmentally-appropriate relationships between adults in the school and students are one of the most powerful and affordable actions schools can take to support and guide students better. Research shows that effective adult-student relationships need to provide support without pity and help develop practical solutions for students.

MITIGATE WHAT YOU CAN’T YET SOLVE. 

Ideally, EWS 2.0 indicators combined with a school’s root cause analysis can lead to lasting solutions. But this is not always possible in the short term. Instead, schools can help to mitigate the impact when indicators show students are not on track. Attendance is a good example: while a school works on a long-term improvement strategy, educators and the community can help students learn material they missed and complete their assignments.

ADOPT A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT APPROACH.

Small improvements accomplished continually over time can have a major impact. If your school’s situation or a specific challenge seems overwhelming, start with an attainable, short-term goal. Try something. If it doesn’t work, learn from it and try another approach.