Our evidence-based approach, adapted to meet each community’s unique needs, is the basis for our success. Many children face challenges both inside and outside the classroom. Through a school-based site coordinator, Communities In Schools strategically aligns and delivers needed resources so that students can focus on learning.
Learn More About How We Work in Schools
Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Our evidence-based approach, adapted to meet each community’s unique needs, is the basis for our success.
Across the country, approximately 1 in 5 children under 18 live in poverty. Without community support, they are more at risk for missing school, dropping out and failing to earn a high school diploma, let alone obtaining the readiness needed for more advanced, professional positions.
Communities In Schools removes barriers students face so they can succeed in school and life.
The Work of Communities In Schools of Indiana
CIS of Indiana works throughout the state of Indiana to build strong relationships with the students who need us most, school districts, and community organizations through an evidence-based model.
Through our work, we surround schools and students with support, developing positive school and student outcomes. The CIS model encompasses the entire school as well as individual students. Its components include: identifying and assessing needs; developing goals and action plans; identifying community resources and services to meet goals; providing intensive student support; and evaluating progress toward goal plans.
We know that our model is effective in reaching positive student outcomes for students and schools through multiple independent evaluations of our model. In the 2018-2019 school year, Communities In Schools of Indiana achieved the following outcomes:
- 94 percent of our students met or progressed toward social/emotional goals
- 80 percent of our students met or progressed toward attendance goals
- 78 percent of our students met or progressed toward academic goals
Communities In Schools Support in COVID-19 Health Crisis
School closures can have significant and lasting consequences, particularly on vulnerable students – who may face hunger, learning challenges, or even trauma. While schools are closed, Communities In Schools of Indiana is not. Historically, the students and families who need us most experience food insecurity, anxiety, trauma, and disruptions to education through attendance issues.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis has only heightened the need for students to communicate with supportive, caring adults on a consistent basis to identify student and family needs, establish support and resources, and further meaningful connections with students.
We are now taking our work beyond school walls at even greater levels. Our CIS coordinators deliver meals, learning technology, support students in completing electronic assignments, and maintain transformative relationships through the use of technology to transform the lives of students and their families. Additionally, CIS coordinators provide support by helping students, especially those with social and emotional challenges build strategies in adjusting to their “new normal” during this time of uncertainty.
Our site coordinators fill a pivotal role as the single point of contact working inside the school building to provide integrated student services. Site coordinators connect students and families with community partners and resources that address both academic and nonacademic needs.
The Communities In Schools (CIS) Total Quality System (TQS) is a comprehensive set of initiatives, policies, and protocols that guides the operations and growth of CIS’ network of affiliates. TQS includes initiatives aimed at strengthening organizational performance and information for how state and affiliate offices are structured. Other components include the accreditation and reaccreditation programs, which set baseline standards for nonprofit operations and minimum requirements for our work in schools. TQS policies and initiatives are designed to define the CIS Model and reinforce our commitment to evidence-based practices and accountability.
Cost Effective Model
What sets Communities In Schools apart from other organizations is its model of providing a comprehensive range of community services, also known as integrated student services. This is done at very little cost – for less than $200 annually per student. Our site coordinators work with school staff to identify students at risk of not graduating. He or she assesses school and student needs and establishes relationships with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers, and parent and volunteer organizations to harness needed resources. Whether it’s tutoring, eyeglasses or just a safe place to be after school, when these needs are met, students can concentrate on learning. With a largely volunteer base, Communities In Schools is cost-efficient, and the model is adaptable to urban, rural or suburban communities.
We develop national programs based on best practices for improving student achievement. Our initiatives cover a broad spectrum of needs with innovative programs designed to engage and support students at various stages of their education.
Communities in Schools Indiana,
6501 Sunnyside Road, Indianapolis, IN 46221