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Answers and fast facts about Communities In Schools.

Answers and Fast Facts About Communities In Schools.

What makes Communities In Schools different from other youth-serving organizations?

We are the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization because we do whatever it takes. Our unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess the needs of students and to provide them resources that will help them stay in school and succeed in life. We partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s providing food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive role model, Communities In Schools is there to help. View our Unique Model  to learn more about all that we do to empower students.  

Who does Communities In Schools serve?

Communities In Schools is changing the picture of education for more than 1.3 million students and their families every year. We do that by working with the most vulnerable students in kindergarten through the senior year of high school by operating inside school districts in some of the most challenged communities across the United States.  During the 2012-2013 school year, 97 percent of the students receiving Communities In Schools services were eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Read our latest annual report  for a more in-depth look at the students we serve. 

How does Communities In Schools work within a school?

Communities In Schools’ site coordinators are each assigned a school. They serve on the management team of the school and collaborate with staff to identify students at risk of dropping out. In addition, the site coordinators forge community partnerships that bring programs and funding to the school in order to benefit students. Every year, Communities In Schools performs an annual needs assessment to determine what services students require most and how our organization can best deliver the services. Communities In Schools becomes involved in a school only at the invitation of the school or school district. Take a look at our Interactive Model  to learn more.

What is a site coordinator?

A site coordinator is a paid staff member positioned inside a Communities In Schools’ partner school. He or she fills a pivotal role as the single point of contact working within a school to provide integrated student supports. Site coordinators connect students and families with community resources that address both academic and nonacademic needs. They act as positive role models, mentors and friends to students supported by Communities In Schools and do everything within their power to help students succeed.
What kind of training and experience do Communities In Schools’ site coordinators have?
The training and experience of Communities In Schools’ site coordinators varies throughout the network, although most have extensive experience and educational background in youth development. Many of our site coordinators are former teachers and school staff, social workers, AmeriCorps members, or lifelong mentors and volunteers. All are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students.
Once hired, Communities In Schools site coordinators receive comprehensive orientation and training for their specific roles and responsibilities. This rigorous training program includes:

  • Building community partnerships.
  • Student- and family-needs assessment.
  • Level One and Level Two service implementation.
  • Data collection and reporting.
  • Effective school coordination.

Site coordinators also have the opportunity to complete a 16-month certification program -- the highest level of professional development offered by Communities In Schools.

What are “Level One” and “Level Two” services?

Communities In Schools provides both “Level One” and “Level Two” services to students. 
Level One services are programs that are accessible to all students within a school, including students who are not case managed by Communities In Schools. Services can include clothing or school supplies, career fairs, field trips, health screenings and grief counseling.
Level Two services are targeted interventions tailored to specific students, and usually require an enrollment procedure. Level Two services are based on assessing individual student needs and developing an individual student plan to address those needs with a holistic and coordinated approach to service delivery. Level Two services can include counseling, mentoring, free or low-cost health/dental care, finding the student a safe place to live or ensuring the student has transportation to and from school. 
Communities In Schools has proven that this comprehensive approach has the most effective impact on students with complex academic and social needs.
To learn more about the different kinds of services we provide, view our Interactive Model .

Do Communities In Schools’ students continue to receive services after they graduate?

Communities In Schools formally serves K-12 students, but our site coordinators frequently stay in touch with students beyond high school. Many continue to be a positive force in students’ lives after the students graduate from high school, and provide moral support as young people strike out on their own. 

How does Communities In Schools evaluate its success?

We measure our performance methodically, carefully evaluate all aspects of our programs and use this knowledge to constantly improve. In 2013, 86 percent of our students met their high-risk behavior reduction goals, 97 percent of students in grades K-11 were promoted to the next grade, 96 percent of eligible seniors graduated and 99 percent of students remained in school.
To learn more about this national data and our research efforts, visit the Our Results  page for information that provides evidence of how our work translates into student success.

How do I get Communities In Schools in my school?

Communities In Schools has a detailed growth plan. There is a process for starting and accrediting a local affiliate. Learn more here .
Please visit our Affiliate Finder  page to see if there is an existing affiliate is in your area. For more information, please contact us at info@cisnet.org .

How can I help Communities In Schools? 

There are numerous ways -- in short, you can advocate , donate or volunteer . Help us tackle the dropout problem by advocating for legislation that better enables achievement.  Make an investment in the future of our country by donating to the Communities In Schools national office, which supports affiliates around the country. Or give us your time by joining more than 40,000 volunteers who help us serve more than 1.3 million young people every year.  

How much of my donation will be used to support Communities In Schools’ initiatives?

Every dollar committed to Communities In Schools is well spent. For less than $200 a year, we can help a student who is in danger of dropping out stay on track to graduation. Because of a largely volunteer workforce, approximately 90 percent of the organization’s expenses go directly to program work supporting students.

Communities In Schools has been recognized for its sound business practices and financial transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator , America’s premier nonprofit evaluator, for responsible fiscal management. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau  and have received gold status from GuideStar .  Philanthropedia, a nonprofit aimed at helping donors give more strategically, recommended Communities In Schools as a high-impact nonprofit working with at-risk youth in the U.S.

How is Communities In Schools funded?

Communities In Schools’ work is funded through numerous sources, including federal and corporate grants, as well as foundation and individual donations.

What types of corporate partnerships are helpful to Communities In Schools?

Partnerships with corporations are critical to Communities In Schools’ mission. Through volunteerism, cause marketing, student internship programs and employee giving, our corporate partners are dedicated to addressing the dropout crisis and strengthening our future workforce. Partners include Costco, Procter & Gamble, Altria, AT&T, MetLife and many others. Inquiries about possible partnerships can be directed to our Director of Corporate Relations, Resource Development, Kwame Johnson  at (703) 518-2580 or johnsonk@cisnet.org .

Does Communities In Schools have someone on staff who I can interview about the organization?

To request an interview with a Communities In Schools staff member, please contact the Director of Communications, Steve Majors at (703) 518-2554 or majorss@cisnet.org