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Building Effective Practices in Dropout Prevention Through Early Warning Systems

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Sandra Covington Smith, PhD March 2, 2010 * David Test and his colleagues at UNC Charlotte conducted a lit review focusing on transition programs/practices that ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Building Effective Practices in Dropout Prevention Through Early Warning Systems


1
Building Effective Practices in Dropout
Prevention Through Early Warning Systems
  • Sandra Covington Smith, PhD
  • March 2, 2010

2
Focus
  • What data are considered early warning indicators
    and predictors
  • Why use data in making decisions?
  • Using early-warning data to guide dropout
    prevention
  • Issues around data-driven decision making
  • The process
  • Using the data probes

3
Get Real With Data
  • Support a realistic diagnosis of the number of
    students who drop out
  • Identify individual students at high risk of
    dropping out
  • Guide prevention, intervention and target efforts
    and resources
  • Advocate and utilize data-driven decision-making

4
Interventions
  • Focus on factors linked to dropout
  • Influenced by educators
  • Attendance
  • Behavior
  • Academic performance
  • Student engagement
  • Adult/peer interactions
  • Safe school environment
  • Evaluate policies and procedures regarding
    dropouts
  • Implementation of evidence-based
    strategies/interventions

5
Why Data-Based Decision Making?
  • Helps authenticate and validate our story
  • Highlights trends or patterns to identify causes
    and to focus TA efforts
  • Targets school and student risk factors
  • Monitors progress and evaluates efforts
  • Strengthens accountability
  • Without data its just another opinion

6
Process in a Nutshell
  • Identify your objectives
  • Define the important questions to answer
  • Determine the type of data you need
  • Collect the data (or find existing sources)
  • Conduct needs analysis and interpret results
  • Use the results to guide development of an
    intervention plan
  • Keep your focus on alterable variables!

7
Steps 1 2 Identify Objectives Define
Questions
  • Why are you doing this?
  • What problem(s) do you want to address?
  • Who is impacted by the problem?
  • What is the magnitude of the problem?
  • What do you hope to change/accomplish?
  • How will you measure success?
  • How will you sustain this effort?

8
Step 3 Decide What Data You Will Need
  • This will depend on the questions you want to
    answer
  • For example, to answer questions about whats
    contributing to dropout in your school, you will
    need to examine the variables that impact
    students in your classrooms

9
What Data are Important?
  • Graduation rates and dropout rates
  • Academic achievement assessment data
  • Course-completion data
  • Attendance rates
  • Retention rates
  • Discipline rates (suspension/expulsion)
  • Parent/family factors (involvement, etc.)
  • Secondary transition data
  • Post-school outcomes
  • School climate
  • Policies and procedures
  • Staff development

10
High-Yield Indicators
Academic Achievement Attendance Behavior Family
Engagement
Research from several U.S. school districts
provides a strong foundation for defining early
warning signs that students might drop out, but
local adaptation is key
Allensworth Easton (2007)
11
Diagnostic
  • Develop comprehensive data systems that yield a
    realistic diagnosis of the number of students who
    drop out
  • Use data to help identify individual students at
    high risk of dropping out
  • Collect and document accurate information on
    student withdrawals

12
Establish Early Warning Systems
  • Use longitudinal, student level data to get an
    accurate read on graduation and dropout rates
  • Use data to identify incoming students with
    histories of academic problems, truancy, behavior
    problems, and retention
  • Collect and document accurate information on
    student withdrawals

13
Establish Early Warning Systems
  • Monitor students academic and social performance
    continuously
  • Review student level data to identify students at
    risk of dropping out
  • Monitor students sense of engagement and
    belonging in school

14
Step 4 Getting the Data
  • Your school or district data manager
  • Your schools guidance office/graduation coach
  • Your district/school policies and procedures
  • Your state department of educations website
  • The IDEA website (www.ideadata.org)
  • Collect it yourself

15
Step 5 Analyze Your Data and Identify the Needs
  • Have the right data? Verify that you have the
    data you need.
  • Have good data? Do the data appear to be
    reliable and correct?
  • Have enough data? Use as much of the data as you
    can get your hands onHaving multiple years worth
    of data will let you spot any patterns
  • Are there trends? Connect the dotsGraphing data
    often makes it easier to spot trends over time.

16
Dropout Prevention Framework
17
Phase 1 Analyze Data
  • District and school demographics
  • Student performance (graduation, dropout, course
    completion, AYP)
  • District/school infrastructure
  • Assessment, curriculum, and instructional systems
  • Current initiatives and partnerships
  • Professional development
  • Parent/family engagement

18
Phase 2 Identify TargetAreas for Intervention
  • Academic content and instruction (reading, math,
    science, writing)
  • Behavior (classroom management, behavior
    supports)
  • Attendance and truancy prevention
  • School climate
  • Self management (self determination, problem
    solving)
  • Mentoring (employment, service learning)
  • Parent/family engagement

19
  • Making Those Data-Based Decisions

20
Look for Trends Patterns
  • Identify any trends in the data over time
  • Which targets were made/missed last year?
  • How about the year before?
  • Are things getting better or worse?
  • See what patterns the data show among the schools
    in the district
  • Look for patterns among classes and students at
    the school level
  • Use the trends and patterns you see to identify
    needs and determine level of intensity for
    interventions

21
  • Using Data to Guide Improvement

22
Guiding Questions Graduation Rates
  • What percentage of all students (including SWD)
    graduated from our school?
  • What percentage of students with disabilities
    graduated from our school?
  • Do the math Is there a disparity - a graduation
    gap - in our school?
  • What is the trend in graduation rates for your
    school over the last 3 years?
  • How many students are on track to graduate this
    year? How many should be? Is this better or worse
    than last year?

23
Guiding Questions Dropout Rates
  • What percentage of all students (including SWD)
    dropped out of our school?
  • What percentage of students with disabilities
    dropped out?
  • How were these rates calculated? via same
    method? (Event rate, Status rate, Cohort rate)
  • Is there a dropout gap in our school?
  • Did our school meet its targeted dropout rate?
  • Does our school have a dropout prevention
    initiative? If so, does it specifically address
    SWD?
  • What is the process for a student to withdraw
    from our school?

24
Activity 1A
Break into small groups
  • Discuss these guiding questions and how your
    school performed on the prompts for graduation
    and dropout

5 minutes
25
Guiding Questions School Attendance
  • How much do we know about the whole picture of
    attendance in our school?
  • What data do we have and use?
  • What data do we need?
  • What electronic reports do we have/use?
  • How do students contribute to our knowledge about
    attendance?
  • How regularly is whole-school data analyzed?
  • Once a year
  • Each semester
  • Each marking period
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily

26
Guiding Questions School Attendance
  • What are the attendance trends and specific
    attendance issues in our school?
  • What is the attendance rate for each grade?
    (absence of gt10 to 18 of the instructional time
    indicates a serious risk of dropping out)
  • Have the rates changed over time?
  • Does the district or school have targets for
    attendance rates?
  • Who is not attending? How are individual students
    identified?
  • How widespread is non attendance? Are there
    patterns?
  • At what stage is a students absence considered a
    concern (set of days, unexcused days, skipping,
    tardiness)?

27
Guiding Questions School Attendance
  • Is there a consistent understanding and use of
    absence codes in our school?
  • How well do existing procedures work? Consider
    the following
  • How are absences followed up?
  • What is currently done about late comers?
  • How is per-period attendance recorded reported?
  • Is there consistent follow-up by teachers?
  • How are parents communicated with about their
    childs attendance?

28
Guiding Questions School Attendance
  • How do we follow up on poor attendance with
    students? with their parents?
  • Discuss reasons, contact families, make agency
    referrals, interagency involvement (e.g.,
    wraparound, RSA)
  • Use case management, monitors, adult mentors
  • Establish contracts
  • How do we document interventions for individuals,
    schools, groups of students?
  • Pen and paper, electronically, checklists,
    external monitors

29
Guiding Questions School Attendance
  • How is information transferred from teacher to
    teacher or from year to year?
  • What professional development is needed?
  • Data collection, attendance monitoring, program
    implementation
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Instructional and classroom strategies that
    foster attendance
  • What messages are we giving the community about
    attendance? Do these messages need to change?

30
Guiding Questions Behavior
  • What percentage of students received in-school
    suspensions last year? the year prior?
  • What percentage of students received
    out-of-school suspensions last year? the year
    prior?
  • What percentage of students were expelled last
    year? Are there trends in the data?
  • Are there differences between the SWD and Regular
    Ed data?
  • How many office referrals were there? Who is
    getting them and what are the infractions?
  • Are the data consistent between all students and
    students with disabilities?

31
Guiding Questions Behavior
  • Does our school have behavior supports in place?
  • Does every E/BD student in our school have a
    behavior support plan?
  • Are behavior support plans based on a functional
    behavior assessment (FBA)?
  • Who conducts the FBAs?

32
Activity 1B
Break into small groups
  • Discuss these guiding questions and how your
    school performed on the prompts for attendance
    and behavior

5 minutes
33
Guiding Questions Academics
  • How many of our incoming 9th grade SWD failed 8th
    grade math? how many incoming Regular Ed 9th
    graders?
  • What percentage of our incoming 9th graders
    failed 8th grade English? how many incoming
    Regular Ed 9th graders?
  • What percentage of our incoming 9th grade SWD
    were retained one or more times in elementary or
    middle school? how many incoming Regular Ed 9th
    graders?

34
Guiding Questions Academics
  • How many of our 9th grade students with
    disabilities were retained last year? how many
    were retained the previous year?
  • How many Regular Ed 9th graders were retained?
  • What were the retention rates in other grades?

35
Guiding Questions Academics
  • What percent of high school students have been
    retained one grade?
  • What percent of high school students have been
    retained two or more grades?
  • How will our school address the academic skill
    gaps of these students to make sure they are on
    track to graduate?

36
Guiding Questions Academics
  • What are the course-completion rates for core
    classes?
  • Do there appear to be problem classes?
  • Are Sp Ed students completing academic courses at
    comparable rates to their non-disabled peers?
  • What of our seniors didnt earn enough credits
    to graduate last year?
  • Are students able to take courses when they need
    them to be able to stay on track to graduate?
  • Are credit requirements preventing many students
    from graduating in 4 years?

37
Activity 1C
Break into small groups
  • Discuss these guiding questions and how your
    school performed on the prompts for academic
    engagement

5 minutes
38
Guiding Questions about Parental/Family Engagement
  1. What percentage of parents of SWDs attends their
    childs IEP meeting?
  2. What is the parent satisfaction rate for SWDs
    for your district?
  3. What practices does you school have in place to
    encourage parents to participate in school
    activities or endeavors? (e.g. School Advisory
    committee, Open House, Parent newsletters, Parent
    Mentor, Annual Parental meetings)

39
Guiding Questions about Parental/Family Engagement
  1. What steps does your school take to educate all
    parents regarding the special education process
    and its potential benefits?
  2. What is the average level of parental education
    in your school district?

40
Guiding Questions about Parental/Family Engagement
  1. How are parents of SWD and of diverse
    educational/linguistic backgrounds informed of
    high school graduation requirements, transition
    plans, and prerequisites for post-secondary
    education options?
  2. How does your school provide information to
    parents regarding general school information,
    school policies/reforms, and school programs?
    (i.e., printed materials, recorded phone
    messages, personal notes, emails, home visits,
    mass media, etc)

41
Guiding Questions about School Climate
  1. List all extracurricular activities for your
    school.
  2. What percentage of your student body participates
    in at least one extracurricular activity?
  3. Based on the school climate survey, what
    percentage of students generally perceives school
    as a safe and welcoming place?

42
Guiding Questions about School Climate
  1. Based on the school climate survey, what
    percentage of parents generally perceives school
    as a safe and welcoming place?
  2. Based on the school climate survey, what
    percentage of school staff generally perceives
    school as a safe and welcoming place?

43
Activity 1D
Break into small groups
  • Discuss these guiding questions and how your
    school performed on the prompts for
    parental/family engagement and school climate

5 minutes
44
Identify ProblemsWhat Do Your Data Show?
  • Is the school meeting all of its students needs?
  • Do curriculum and instruction adequately address
    areas of weakness?
  • Are policies or procedures pushing students out?
  • What additional resources are needed at school?
  • Are there staff development and training needs?
  • What programs/interventions are now in place?
  • How are these working and why?

45
Next Steps
46
  • Developing a School Intervention Plan

47
Putting It Together
  • Once youve identified your schools needs, try
    to prioritize them
  • Which one(s) are most critical and require
    immediate intervention? which can wait a while?
    which might be solved by addressing another
    need?
  • Which ones can be addressed with the resources
    available to you?
  • Remember that your plan probably cant address
    everything at once Dont try! Set practical,
    achievable goals pick two or three issues to
    address at first. Develop your plan with a
    reasonable scope.

48
Step 6 Developing the Plan
  • Expand your core team to include other school
    community members who can help maximize your
    likelihood of success
  • Identify your leader, determine roles
    responsibilities
  • Meet regularly, share ideas, keep the momentum
  • Work together and develop an improvement plan
  • Identify the desired outcomes, determine the
    activities that will make it happen, develop
    timelines, and identify additional resources you
    will need and where/how to acquire the resources

49
Implement Interventions Within the Context of
Your School
  • Promote and facilitate the implementation of
    evidence-based strategies that support
  • School attendance
  • Academic success
  • Prosocial behaviors
  • A positive school climate
  • Student engagement
  • Parental involvement

50
Intervention Strategies
  • The most frequent intervention strategies that
    enhance school completion for students with
    disabilities were categorized as academic
    engagement, psychosocial skills development,
    mentoring, and parent/teacher behavior management
    training.
  • The more promising practices appeared to involve
    academic or multi-component programs

(Prevatt and Kelly, 2003)
51
Tiered Approaches for Intervention
  • Targeted school-level reform that can reduce
    student risk factors and dropping out
  • Implementation of early intervening strategies
    that are universal in nature and focused on
    prevention
  • Program offerings to provide extra help for
    certain groups of students who share particular
    risk factors
  • Extensive or personalized help for targeted
    students

52
Step 7 Implement the Plan
  • Conduct baseline measures
  • Train the teachers, staff and other people who
    will be involved in the project
  • Begin implementing the interventions
  • Ongoing checks for fidelity of implementation
  • Ongoing data collection for progress monitoring
    and documentation
  • Report ongoing progress at school and to the
    community Share your successes!

53
Remember theHigh-Yield Indicators
  • Academic Achievement
  • Attendance
  • Behavior
  • Family Engagement

But do not forget to monitor all others!
54
Putting It Together
  • Remember Collect data at every step of the way!
  • This is the best way for you to be able to
    clearly demonstrate progress!
  • Baseline data
  • Ongoing measures of progress
  • Summative data at the end of a project cycle

55
Data-Based Decisions Pay Off
  • Effective intervention practices
  • Effective implementation practices
  • ------------------------
  • Positive outcomes for youth with disabilities

56
THANK YOU!
Sandra Covington Smith, PhD Coordinator of
Technical Assistance and Training NDPC-SD Clemson
University sandras_at_clemson.edu (864) 656-1817
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