Early Warning System helps Beaufort County School District reduc - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Early Warning System helps Beaufort County School District reduce dropout rate

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

There's no one simple solution for how to keep students from dropping out of school.

However, this school year, the Beaufort County School District launched a new software program that's aimed at not only reducing the dropout rate, but also increasing on-time graduation.

The Beaufort County School District received a $225,000 state grant for the Early Warning System. They say it's the only intervention tool that's been proven to help students stay in school.

The new software program focuses on three main areas: attendance, grades and behavior.

"EWS is what we're calling it, you may have heard others refer to it as Check & Connect or iConnect but basically the program is designed so that we can become more effective and efficient of keeping track of where students are," said Gregory McCord, Chief Student Services Officer for the Beaufort County School District.

Under the system, counselors and teachers will get email notifications when students don't pass the mark in any of those three areas.

The goal is to provide a better, more accurate snapshot of at-risk students at a faster rate.

"For example, if I have 25 students and I'm looking at 25 students and they all look well and engaged. Well, there's some things that you might not be able to detect just from face value," said McCord.

By identifying those students early on, the district can reach out sooner.

The software program will be used in grades K-12, although a student isn't considered a dropout until they reach ninth grade.

"We want to have early intervention as much as possible so that before they reach ninth grade, we can hopefully prevent a lot of the issues that play into dropouts," he added.  

The school district will receive the $225,000 grant throughout a three year period for the Early Warning System.

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