The mission of Communities In Schools of Washington (CIS) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Communities In Schools is the nation’s largest dropout prevention program and has been providing support to students across the country for more than 30 years. We have been in Washington since 1991, with 12 affiliates serving 17 school districts in 7 counties statewide.
Approximately one in four Washington students do not graduate on time (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Washington State Report Card 2013-14), and those who drop out are more likely to live in poverty, earn thousands less over a working lifetime, suffer poor health, be dependent on social services, or enter the criminal justice system.
Each affiliate is locally controlled and has the flexibility to build upon the Integrated Student Supports model to meet the unique needs of students in their community and in their schools. CIS provides the link between educators and the community by bringing community resources into the schools to address children’s unmet needs. Communities In Schools serves children from K-12, identifying and delivering two levels of service to students; school-wide services, as well as targeted and sustained services to students identified as being “at-risk” for dropout. Through a school-based site coordinator, CIS strategically aligns and delivers needed resources so that students can focus on learning.
This work is proven effective through a national, 5-year study demonstrating that Communities In Schools increases proficiencies in math and reading (key indicators for potential student success), decreases dropout rates, and boosts on-time graduation rates. Additionally, a recent economic impact study demonstrated that for every $1 a community invests in CIS, it receives $11.60 in economic benefit in return.