Greenville Team Visits Asheville to See Our Early Warning and Response System

Submitted by Elisabeth on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 12:03pm
In 2013, United Way Worldwide issued an opportunity for local United Ways from across the country to work together to learn how to build better support for youth through the development and use of an Early Warning and Response System (EWRS). Our United Way and United Way of Greenville County (South Carolina) were two of the nine organizations chosen. Since then, Laura Elliot, our Director of Community Schools, has remained in communication with the Greenville leaders regarding each of our initiatives.

On November 7, a team from United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Schools, met with our staff and members of the Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network's Early Warning and Response System work group to learn from each other about our respective systems and partnerships.  

While reviewing the features of the two city's Early Warning and Response Systems, it was clear that each organization had a feature that the other group admired and hoped to gain. "I've got an idea," said Laura Elliot, "we'll help you build a case for changing how you record absences and you can help us build a case for updating grades more frequently."

"This is a really valuable opportunity, get the chance to meet people who are doing similar work, yet doing it with enough differences that each community can learn new things that we can take home and implement." said Zack Goldman, Learning and Evaluation Manager at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County "This is one of the benefits of working in a network like United Way, there are some powerful lessons in cities across the country and we can access their expertise and translate for our own community."

This sentiment was echoed by JoKeitha Seabrook, Director of Community and Partner Relations at United Way of Greenville; "In addition to putting faces to names and seeing your system in person, we're looking forward to seeing how you structure and run your early warning meetings at the schools. It's a great way to see if there are ideas, maybe new ways to come at these meetings, that could help us see things in differently or break us out of our routine." 
Following a virtual tour of the two organization's EWRS platforms, the team headed over to Enka Middle School for a tour of the school and how we are implementing the Community School Strategy in that district. 

About The Early Warning and Response System

Our Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) is the first of its kind in North Carolina, connecting city and county schools, out-of-school providers, and volunteers. Using the EWRS dashboard, we can work together to identify when a student is starting to fall off track and alert a professional network of supportive and caring adults to take quick action. The EWRS is currently installed and in use at 9 schools and 7 community partners.