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Our Solution

Many students and their families have a hard time accessing and navigating the maze of public and private services. There may be ample resources in a community, but rarely is there someone on the ground who is able to connect these resources with the schools and students that need them most. Through a school-based coordinator, we bring community resources into schools to empower success for all students by removing barriers for students at risk of dropping out, keeping kids in schools and on the path to graduation and leveraging evidence, relationships and local resources to drive results.

CIS Affiliates

The Communities In Schools ® (CIS) affiliate brings support and resources to the schools in their community by doing the following:

  • Conducts an assessment of the community to determine the need for CIS
  • Partners with school district leadership to identify where CIS can have the greatest impact
  • Hires, trains and assigns a site coordinator to a school in need
  • Partners with the school districts, local agencies, businesses and foundations to garner support for the organization and its work
  • Mobilizes community resources to address academic and nonacademic barriers
  • Continuously evaluates their work at all levels to ensure progress is made and goals are met

Site Coordinators

Miss Liberty encouraged and lifted me up. She made me understand that even though things were bad, it didn't have to stay that way. She helped me set goals and stay motivated. She taught me how to speak up and ask for help.
— Ellie

The site coordinator fills a pivotal role as the single point of contact working inside the school coordinating and providing integrated student supports. They work with school leadership and staff to connect students and families with community resources that help to address both academic and nonacademic needs, allowing students to show up healthy, safe, and prepared to learn.

Collaborative Partners

Through conversations with school leadership and review of school improvement plans, the Communities In Schools® affiliate, site coordinator and their school support team work to align goals that best meet the needs of the students, avoiding duplication and overlap of supports. When site coordinators actually begin providing supports, they collaborate with community partners and businesses to recruit volunteers for tutoring programs, build up clothing closets with support from local businesses or connect struggling families with much-needed medical attention – just to name a few.

We find that when we bring the right people to the table, we are able to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Needs Assessment

What sets Communities In Schools® (CIS) apart is our holistic approach to addressing both the academic and nonacademic needs of students. Working with school leadership and staff, CIS site coordinators — who are based inside schools — prioritize the needs of the school, determine which supports need to be increased or improved and identify supports that the schools need but don’t currently have. In addition to the school needs assessment, site coordinators also identify students at risk of dropping out, assess what they need and then find the right supports to ensure they stay on track to graduate.


Once the needs assessment is complete, the site coordinator meets with their school support team to put together a plan to address these needs–through school-wide, targeted group and individualized supports. They then collaborate with local providers to put these plans into action. They attach measurable goals to the plans and track progress against defined metrics to ensure they provide the best possible supports, producing positive results for schools and students.

Integrated Student Supports



With the help of Communities In Schools®, 1.7 million students and their families were directly connected to essential resources.


The Communities In Schools® site coordinator works with volunteers, partners and the local community to provide students with the supports they need to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. We provide these supports in three different tiers. By differentiating our supports, we are able to serve most students in a school and also focus attention on targeted students that have significant needs.

  • Tier 1: School-wide services
  • Tier 2: Targeted programs
  • Tier 3: Individualized support

Here are some examples of the supports we provide to students across the country:

Monitoring & Adjusting

Once the site coordinator and their school support team have identified needs and put a plan in place to address those needs, they continue to meet with students, families, teachers and providers to make sure the supports are working. By setting goals with individual students and the school as a whole, they are able to monitor progress and adjust support accordingly. If they find out the plan isn’t working as well as it could, they bring the right people back to the drawing board to adjust and create a plan that does.


Just as we monitor and adjust the supports we are providing on the ground, Communities In Schools® (CIS) also conducts evaluations of the entire CIS model – both at the school-wide and individual student level. Additionally, the CIS National Office engages in 3rd party evaluations of the network to ensure fidelity to the CIS model and positive impacts for schools and students. These evaluations, some of the most rigorous conducted in the field of Integrated Student Supports, show that Communities In Schools is proven to increase graduation rates, decrease dropout rates and improve student attendance, leading to brighter futures for students in America.

Proven Success

Of students that receive targeted support for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • 99% of students remained in school 
  • 97% of K-11 students were promoted to the next grade
  • 96% of seniors graduated or received a GED
  • 81% of students met or made progress toward at least one of their attendance goals
  • 88% of students met or made progress toward at least one of their academic goals
  • 85% of students met or made progress toward at least one of their behavior goals

Every year, Communities In Schools® (CIS) affiliates report outcomes on everything from student promotion rates to volunteer hours. We use this information to not only demonstrate our effectiveness, but also to inform the way we do our work. 

In 2019-2020:

  • 1.7 million students were served by 121 affiliated organizations in 26 states and D.C.
  • 8,000 community partner organizations worked with CIS to support students
  • 4,100 local staff members carried out the CIS mission
  • 2,900 schools and community sites were served by CIS
  • 30,000 community volunteers donated their time

Are You #AllinforKids? 

Join our community of changemakers and stay connected with us! 

Learn more about the work Communities In Schools is doing to empower and equip every student to take on and tear down the barriers that stand between them and an equitable path to education. 

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