Virginia Early Warning System (VEWS)
In February 2009, the Board of Education strengthened Virginia’s accountability program by:
- Requiring high schools – beginning with the 2011-2012 school year – to meet an annual benchmark for graduation.
- Revising Virginia's accreditation standards to create a graduation and completion index for high schools
The Virginia Early Warning System (VEWS) relies on readily available data – housed at the school – to predict which students are at risk for dropping out of high school; target resources at the school- and division-level to support students not on track to graduate while they are still in school and before they drop out; examine patterns and identify school climate issues that may contribute to disproportionate dropout rates.
In collaboration with four Virginia school divisions, the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center, and the National High School Center, VDOE developed VEWS to identify ninth-grade students who are at risk of not graduating from high school with a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma. VEWS provides:
- An index tool that identifies students in the ninth-grade class as on-track or off-track towards earning a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma;
- A progress monitoring tool for high school students during the school year;
- Documentation and tracking of student interventions;
- Student-level reports;
- School-level reports; and
- Division-level reports.
Virginia Early Warning Tool Interface (EWTI)
The system provides data used to finalize the VEWS application and identify students who are considered to be either:
- On-Track and have a high probability of graduating from high school with a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma; or
- Off-Track and have a high probability of dropping out or otherwise leaving high school without earning a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma.
VEWS Tool Materials & Training
- VEWS Tool (XLSM) – Revised May 24, 2011 - This newest version of the tool has revised export functionality on the student information page to ensure that data are correctly formatted when exported from the tool in either a .csv or .txt format.
System requirements: PC: Excel 2003 or later. Mac: Excel 11.0 (part of Office 2004) or Excel 14.0 (part of Office 2011). Please note: the EWS Tool v2.0 cannot be run in Excel 12.0 (part of Office 2008) as this version does not support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros.
- Implementation Guide (PDF)
- Technical Manual (Word) - Revised February, 2011
- Completing the VEWS Pre-High School Upload (Word) – This document provides a brief, step-by-step summary of the upload process.
- Templates – Below are blank source file templates for all pages where data can be imported into the tool.
CAUTION: These are saved as EXCEL files, but in order for them to work in the tool, users must save them as either .csv files or .txt files (comma delimited or tab delimited) once they populate them with data.
- The EWTI also identifies students having insufficient or missing data for the system to make a determination.
- Introduction to the Virginia Early Warning System Tool (PPT)
- Introduction to Technical Aspects of the VEWS (PPT)
- Using Early Warning Systems to Target Tiered Interventions for Dropout Prevention (PPT)
- Partially loaded VEWS tool (XLMS) – Please use this for practice or demonstration only. This version of the VEWS tool has been partially loaded with dummy data from a fictitious school, including student performance data for quarters 1-3. Please download and save as a macro-enabled file.
- Sample data file (grading period 4) (TXT) – Please use this for practice or demonstration only. This file provides sample student performance data for quarter 4 for the fictitious school in the partially loaded VEWS tool above. This file can be imported into the tool above. Please save as a tab delimited file.
A Discussion with School Boards: Raising the Graduation Rate, High School Improvement and Policy Decisions is a series of five PowerPoint presentations developed by VDOE and the University of Virginia available for superintendents to present to their school boards to address the topic of graduation and to prompt discussion of policy issues that may affect graduation rates.
- Presentation 1 (PPT) – overview of the graduation rate issue and the graduation and completion index.
- Presentation 2 (PPT) – four elements for high school improvement: Rigorous Curriculum and Instruction, Assessment and Accountability, Teacher Quality and Professional Development and Student and Family Supports
- Presentation 3 (PPT) – additional elements for high school improvement: Stakeholder Engagement, Leadership and Governance, Organization and Structure, and Resources for Sustainability
- Presentation 4 (PPT) – describes what an early warning system is, the indicators on which it is based, how it identifies students at risk of dropping out and how tiered interventions are the most efficient use of resources to support students
- Presentation 5 (PPT) – discussion topics on policy issues affecting high school improvement efforts