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Child Trends Report Affirms Effectiveness of the Communities In Schools Model

By Communities In Schools Feb. 25, 2014

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2014

Arlington, Va. – Child Trends, a national research nonprofit, today released a new report affirming the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of integrated student supports (ISS) programs like Communities In Schools (CIS) in improving education outcomes. These programs target both academic and non-academic barriers to achievement by identifying individual student needs and mobilizing community resources to meet them. 

“As the largest ISS provider in the nation, we are very pleased to see that our data-driven model continues to prove effective in reducing dropout rates across the country,” said Dan Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools. “Improving academic factors are an important piece of the education puzzle, but it is critical that policymakers address student challenges both inside and outside of the classroom to truly level the playing field.” 

Key findings from Child Trends’ report, Integrated Student Supports: The Evidence, include:

  • ISS programs increase math achievement and student attendance and lower dropout rates;
  • Student-centric programs that focus on all aspects of students’ needs, both academic and non-academic, are more likely to be successful than ones that focus on single factors in isolation;
  • ISS programs are cost-effective and yield a positive return on investment ranging from $4.39 to $14.80; and,
  • High-quality implementation is key to the effectiveness of these programs, while low-quality or partial implementation results in lower or no difference at all in effectiveness.

Student success also extends outward to communities, with every dollar invested in CIS creating $11.60 in economic benefit for the community according to one study. Yet another study determined that of all existing fully scaled dropout prevention programs in the U.S., CIS has demonstrated the strongest reduction in dropout rates. Finally, internal data of the CIS model has demonstrated 99 percent retention of potential dropouts, and that the organization propelled 96 percent of eligible seniors to graduation and successfully helped 97 percent of students continue to the next grade.

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About Communities In Schools

Working directly in more than 2,300 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. For the 2015-2016 school year, Communities In Schools served nearly 1.5 million students and successfully helped 99 percent of our case-managed students stay in school.