Early Warning & Response System

According to national education research*, successful high school graduation can be predicted as early as middle school based on three key indicators: Attendance, Behavior, Core academics (the “A.B.C. indicators”). If a student is “off-track” in even one of those areas during the middle grades years, they are significantly less likely to graduate successfully from high school UNLESS proper in-school or out-of-school interventions and supports are put in place. 

Keeping ALL students on track requires the commitmentexpertise, and coordination of the entire community. *If interested in a closer, more thorough look at the research, plus case studies of EWRS implementation, please see 

'The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation.'



The Early Warning and Response System, utilized by United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and its community partners, automatically pulls data from the schools’ database so that teams of teachers, counselors and social workers can immediately identify students who are slipping off track, identify the underlying causes of why a student is off track, put in place targeted interventions, and track progress. This data is presented in an easy to read dashboard format. It can show individual, school and systems-level data for use by a teacher working with an individual student as well as a superintendent searching for important trends that need to be addressed.

Where We Are Using The EWRS

It is currently in use at 30 local schools and 10+ community partner organizations. More than 18,000 local intermediate and middle school students are monitored each day.

The Early Warning and Response System is funded through a partnership between United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Asheville City Schools, and Buncombe County Schools.

How our Early Warning and Response System is Different From Others

With signed parent consent, the data is not limited to just school staff: out-of-school-time providers (like YMCA Horizons after school, Big Brothers Big Sisters, In Real Life after school, etc.) can also view data on students in their programs. Teachers and these community partner organizations can communicate with each other in order to coordinate and mutually-support shared efforts to keep kids on track. This brings us closer to a reality in which ALL students in our community are surrounded by a team of supportive adults.

Data Sharing

In order for a community partner organization to have access to any protected student data, they must sign the data-sharing agreement with the school systems, their staff/volunteers must complete a FERPA training and sign a confidentiality form and students’ parents must sign a consent form to permit the school to share data with a specific organization. The Learning Circle dashboard makes it easy to keep track of parent consent — community partners can only see data on students for whom a signed consent form has been loaded into the system. Student data is protected under a federal law called FERPA. Due to the strength of the partnership between Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, and community partners, we have a data-sharing agreement that enables FERPA-compliant sharing of student data (attendance, behavior, core academic grades, etc.) between schools and community partners.

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