Dropping out of school is a process, not an event, and early predictors of potential drop-outs exist as early as the middle grades. Predicting which current 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students are at a higher risk of dropping out of school later on can lead to critical interventions that prevent students from actually dropping out.
Early predictors of dropping out include low attendance and achievement rates, high expulsion and suspension rates along with high mobility rates. To help educators identify students who are at risk of dropping out and in need of additional supports early—in the middle grades—DPI developed the Dropout Early Warning System (DEWS). DEWS provides educators with risk scores for all middle school students.*
*Note: The DEWS risk score is not the same as the definition of “Children At Risk” under sec. Wis. Stat. 118.153.
What’s New with DEWS
- DEWS is a case study in the National Forum on Education Statistics Guide to Early Warning Systems
- NPR’s Marketplace Report, “Using data to head off high school dropouts,” featuring Wisconsin’s DEWS.
- DEWS White Paper published in the Journal of Educational Data Mining. Copies available here (link downloads PDF)
All schools with students in grades 6-9 have DEWS reports and rosters prepared for them automatically. The DEWS reports are available at the start of the school year in WISEdash for Districts. The reports provide a risk score for each student – high, moderate, or low risk of dropping out or of having an unplanned late graduation. You can check your students now by accessing the reports in WISEdash for Districts.
Wisconsin DEWS Resources
Preventing drop outs and unplanned late graduation is critical to ensuring Every Child is a Graduate ready for life after high school. Please make use of these resources, and contact us if there are any questions.
- How to Access DEWS and CCREWS
- DEWS Action Guide
- Dropout Reduction Strategies
- DEWS Fact Sheet
- DEWS Data Brief
- DEWS About the Data
- WISEdash For Districts: How to Access DEWS Video