Early Indicators for Success
ISIS: Interventions & Supports for Middle-Grades Students
FHI 360’s ISIS program helps middle-grades schools improve their students’ preparation for high school and postsecondary education by showing teachers, administrators and other staff how to recognize the early warning signals students send when they are at risk of falling off the pathway to success, and by helping them to provide effective supports and interventions to quickly get students back on track. With professional development and coaching, middle-grades teachers and administrators and other staff use a powerful framework and proven strategies that promote the success of every middle-grades student.
This program empowers schools by demonstrating that these key early indicators – attendance, behavior, and course grades in math and English language arts – which schools can directly address, are far more accurate predictors of who will graduate or drop out than indicators less within a school’s control (such as standardized test scores) or outside a school’s control (such as race or socioeconomic status).
ISIS helps participating schools become more effective in helping all students experience the middle grades as a challenging, rewarding and even enjoyable step on the path to success in high school and beyond.
A Research-Based Program
The design of this program is informed by the early indicator-intervention research of Johns Hopkins University (Balfanz, Herzog and Mac Iver, 2007), which demonstrates that students at risk of falling off track can be identified using the “indicators” and suggests that the earlier students are identified by these indicators and provided interventions, the more likely they will be prepared for high school and beyond. Through the ISIS program schools identify students and provide appropriate supports in sixth grade, rather than assume they will “grow out of” poor habits.
The program has been in use since 2008-09 in middle-grades schools in the FHI 360 Partnership Support Organization. The design was informed by pilot work and from early feedback from a year-long advisory group from those schools.
Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) – Spring 2012
MSQI is an initiative sponsored by the NYC Department of Education to extend and deepen the ISIS work in six of the FHI360 PSO schools. The FHI360 PSO will lead the ISIS work and will serve as a model of how ISIS can be used as a framework to organize supports and interventions for keeping all middle-grades students on track to success.