Guiding and Small Group Discussion Questions for Early Warning Systems Summit

Guiding and Small Group Discussion Questions for Early Warning Systems Summit

Early Warning Systems (EWS)
Early Adopters learning & Sharing Summit
November 5-6, 2013
George W. Bush Presidential Center

2943 SMU Boulevard

Dallas, Texas

Guiding and Small Group Discussion Questions for Early Warning Systems Summit

Session 1:Enhancing and Advancing Early Warning Indicators– Tuesday Afternoon

Overall Guiding Question:

How can we make early warning or predictive indicators of student success moreuseful to practitioners and more impactful on student progress?

Small Group Discussion Questions:

Early warning indicators or predictive indicators of student progress have the potential to improve core educational outcomes–school readiness at all levels,academic and social/emotional proficiency,high school graduation, preparation for adult success in college and career –in at least threeways at multiple levels, including state, district, school, classroom, and individual.

  • First, they can identify the positive and negative factors exhibited by students who do and who don’t currently succeed.
  • Second, they can help shape prevention activities – what we need to do to – individuals, groups of students and grade- or school-wide -- for whom, when, and where – to keep all students on track to reaching core educational outcomes.
  • Third, they can help get the right intervention to the right students at the right time at the scale and intensity required to help students who are signaling that without effective intervention their odds of succeeding are low.

To achieve these ends, educational practitioners need to become strong diagnosticians. Good diagnoses in turn are dependent on good and actionable data.

Based on your experience with, and knowledge of, early warning indicators, discuss the following questions with your tablemates:

  • What more do we need to know about our students to help them succeed? What additional data, if any, beyond the core indicators of attendance, behavior, and course passing/credit accrual/academic performance, help with:
  • Diagnosing which students need prevention and intervention supports, what those supports should be, and how they can build upon student strengths?
  • How can existing or additional early warning data be made more accessible/useful/actionable to school-based educators to enable:
  • Better, timelier or more consistent analyses of which students need which supports, and at what level-district, school, classroom or individual-they would be the most effective?

Work Task:Summarize and record key findings from the table discussion, and be prepared to share with the entire group.

Session 2: ImplementationOpportunities and Challenges– Wednesday Morning

Overall Guiding Questions:

What have been the biggest challenges to implementingearly Early Wwarning Ssystems in states, districts, and schools, and how have they been or can they be overcome?

Small Group Discussion Questions:

Early adopters of innovations are often also first the creators. They work on new frontiers, without guidance, and learn, frequently from trial and error, how to best structure, use and ultimately benefit from the innovations. For early warning system innovations to be perfected, expanded and scaled effectively and nationally,an infrastructure of implementation support and guidancewill be needed.

The goal of this discussion is to arrive at core principles of early warning system design and implementation, at the different levels – state, district, school and classroom – and shapeassociated guidance for the next generation of implementers.

Based on your experience implementing Eearly Wwarning Ssystems or helping to spread their use, discuss the following questions with your tablemates.

  • What is the best advice you would give to someone about to design and launch an early warning system in their state, district, or school? Consider, for example, one of the following;
  • Who needs to be involved, doing what at the school, district, and/or state level?
  • What level and type of mission-building (“buy-in”), professional development, coaching , and on-going support from whom, is needed for whom?
  • What supportive school/district/state functions, structures, and policies should be put in place to best support adoption and implementation?
  • What is the best way to work with/integrate/leverage community and student support partners?

What have been your greatest early warning system design and implementation successes-what has worked really well?

  • What implementation challenges remain in the school(s), districts and/or statesyou work in or with to reaching the full potential of Eearly Wwarning Ssystems to propel student success?

Work Task:

Summarize and record key findings from the table discussion and be prepared to report out and discuss with the whole group.

Session 3:Building Prevention/Intervention Systems–Wednesday Afternoon

Overall Guiding Question:

How can we design evidence-based, prevention/intervention systems that are responsive to the scale, depth, and variation of identified student needs?

Small Group Discussion Questions:

The most difficult part of Early Warning Systems is figuring out the best ways to effectively respond to early warning or predictive indicator data. Key challenges include:

  • When and where to focus on prevention and/or intervention?
  • What interventions to use?
  • How to figure out the most strategic level for focusingprevention or intervention efforts atindividual, classroom, school, or district/state/system?
  • How to respond to the sheer scale, depth, complexity, and variability of student needs flagged by the early warning data?
  • How to build intervention capacity and know-how at the school level?
  • How to build intervention tracking and evaluation systems that increase a school’s capacity to select the right intervention for the right student at the right time?

The table discussion can only begin this critical dialogue. To do so, we ask you to consider one or more of the above challenges as you discuss the following:

  • What have you learned about interventions to improve attendance, behavior (including effort), and course-passing/credit accrual/academic performance?
  • What has surprised you? (e.g.,did you encounter something you thought would work that did not and/or is there something you tried that worked better than expected?)

Work Task:

Summarize and record key findings from the table discussion.

EWS Summit: Guiding and Small Group Discussion Questions