Early Warning and Response Systems (EWRS) are a collaborative approach among educators, administrators, and community partners to identify students at-risk of dropout — based on attendance, behavior, and course grades — and provide just-in-time interventions and supports to get them back on track. United Way has formed an EWRS Compact, which consists of twelve United Ways and United Way Worldwide collaborating to develop, implement, and scale early warning and response systems in their communities and across the United Way network.
These United Ways have developed a shared EWRS framework and are holding themselves mutually accountable for strengthening results for students across the U.S. The EWRS framework represents the core aspects of this work that can be replicated across communities. It lays out the five essential components necessary to implement high-quality early warning and response systems, which include:
Each of these components has indicators of progress which identify what progress might look like along a continuum (“just getting” started; “making progress”; or “strong progress, more-to-do”) within each component of the work. The progress indicators are benchmarks that any United Ways participating in the Early Warning and Response Systems can use to assess their progress. To learn more about the components and their indicators of progress, head to United Way Online's EWRS Framework page here or click on the boxes above to be directed straight to that component.
Using the Early Warning and Response Systems is a high-quality strategy that can take your Out-of-School Time work to the next level! Your United Way should consider implementing some of the assessment and intervention strategies within the EWRS framework to not only collect additional data on youth but also make tangible improvements to your OST programming.
Head to the EWRS Resources page to read pivotal research demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach, which you can then use to engage your key stakeholders (e.g. United Way boards, donors, school and community partners) on why this strategy holds significant promise for strengthening student success and on-time high school graduation rates. You can also access tools, templates, and best practices on the EWRS Resources page to help you start implementing this strategy and using data to develop integral interventions and promote student success.