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Alabama Early Warning Systems


Why Chronic Absenteeism Matters
and What Can Be Done About It (powerpoint)

By Dr. Robert Balfanz
Director, Senior Research Scientist
Everyone Graduates Center
Johns Hopkins University School of Education


Getting Started and Keeping Moving
with Early Warning Systems in Alabama

By Joanna H. Fox
Deputy Director
Everyone Graduates Center
Johns Hopkins University School of Education


Learning What it Takes (PDF)
An initial look at how school’s are using
early warning indicator data and collaborative
response teams to keep all students on track to success.
By Liza Herzog, Marcia Davis,
and Nettie Legters


Early Warning Systems 101 (powerpoint)
By Johann Liljengren
Division Manager
Talent Development Secondary
Johns Hopkins University School of Education


Early Warning Systems Resources for Alabama

The Everyone Graduates Center has assembled a short list of our favorite resources for both Alabama and early warning systems.

We would like to help you make the case to your school colleagues, district colleagues, school board members and state advocates about “why an early warning indicator and response system should be put into place” – and to design and implement good strategies locally for early warning systems.

We encourage you to explore our resources as well as any others you encounter and we will be delighted to work with you in our mutual work to graduate more students college and career ready.

We are ready and willing to work with you!

Bob Balfanz,, and Joanna Fox,


Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE)

The ALSDE website offers outstanding information on state initiatives.

Alliance for Excellent Education

If you would like to make the economic case for why high school graduation matters – for kids, families and communities — check this site out.  Pay particular attention to the state profiles.

Annie Casey Foundation and Kid’s Count

The Annie Casey Foundation is a national leader in assembling and analyzing data related to child welfare, juvenile justice, education and community change.  Their data base is sortable for local communities. Look into it!

Attendance Works

The Attendance Works site is a treasure trove of national references and resources, many of which are downloadable and printable, including not only data for making persuasive arguments but designs for attendance posters and banners, for teachers, administrators and parents.  Use this site in your work to get more students to school every day!

Everyone Graduates Center

The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University is the epicenter of work on early warning systems in the U.S. Our site has excellent references on data relating to attendance, behavior and course completion/credit accumulation, both at the national level and for your state.  

Check out Alabama’s State Challenge Index (to be updated by May 10, 2016) and the Pathways to 90 powerpoint (available by the end of May, 2016) to use as persuasive tools in your community and read such articles as What Your Community Can Do to End the Dropout Crisis, and the Grad Nation Toolbox.

Grad Nation

Four organizations – the Everyone Graduates Center, the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance and Civic Enterprises – have joined with corporate and association partners to sponsor the Grad Nation Campaign.  America’s Promise Alliance produces a valuable weekly electronic newsletter that provides information about the latest graduation improvement efforts across the country, including facts, figures, and resources, all in easy-to-read, jargon-free language.

National High School Center, American Institutes of Research

The National High School Center pioneered various early warning system strategies and materials. Although this center is no longer funded, the materials live on, as do the center’s important new directions regarding college and career readiness, accessed at

Regional Education Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest and the Institute of Education Sciences (U.S. Department of Education)

The Pacific Northwest Education Lab is one of 10 U.S. Department of Education regional labs across the country. It specializes in early warning systems, and has many resources, among which a few are noted below.  For the remainder, check the website.

  • Principal’s Research Review, ISSN 1558-5948, vol. 8, Issue 4, July 2013, Implementing Early Warning Systems, Frazelle, S., and Baron, R.
  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing Early Warning Systems, January, 2015

University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research

The CCSR, in tandem with the EGC, has led work on early warning systems since the early 2000’s.


PBS has made numerous videos related to the dropout challenge and the need to graduate more students.  A striking one is the 13-minute Frontline video, “Middle School Moment,” a glimpse into the life of a middle school student with reflections on the challenges and Early Warning Indicators by Dr. Robert Balfanz from The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Other videos and stories can be found on the American Graduate website sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,