MissionOur mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Communities In Schools is nationally recognized as the largest and most effective dropout prevention program in the country. All of our work is rooted in the 5 Basics - those foundations that all children need and deserve: (1) a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult (2) a safe place to learn and grow (3) a healthy start and a healthy future (4) a marketable skill to use upon graduation (5) a chance to give back to peers and community Currently, we serve approximately 9,000 students with comprehensive integrated student support services across the nine Chesterfield County schools we work in.
What We DoCIS of Chesterfield delivers wrap-around services in the nine Chesterfield schools serve, all designed to achieve our mission. CIS services at each of our schools are implemented through Site Coordinators. Each school has a CIS Site Coordinator, who is based at the school, working in tandem with the principal and school staff, providing CIS programming Monday through Friday, throughout the school day and often beyond. Site Coordinators are supported by our leadership team, which includes our executive director, program director and director of development & outreach.
Currently, we deliver the CIS model at four elementary schools (Bellwood, Chalkley, Ettrick, and Falling Creek), three middle schools (Falling Creek, Manchester, and Salem Church) and three high schools (Carver College and Career Academy, LC Bird, and Meadowbrook).
The services provided look unique in each school, as each school has unique challenges. However the common thread is our belief in the Five Basics. Developed by CIS's founder, these are essentials that every child needs to succeed: 1) a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult; 2) a safe place to learn and grow; 3) a healthy start and healthy future; 4) a marketable skill to use upon graduation; 5) a chance to give back to peers and community. The services provided are rooted in delivering on these Five Basics. Examples of the interventions and services aligned with some of the Five Basics include: matching mentors with students for one-on-one relationships; partnering with Conexus to get students eye-glasses for a healthy start; and career readiness programs that equip students with skills to use after graduation.
All students receive Tier One (school wide) interventions, then based on need, receive Tier Two (targeted group programs) or Tier Three (individualized) wrap-around services to provide all students with opportunities to engage, learn, and thrive. Our ultimate goal is dropout prevention. Research has consistently shown three primary dropout factors: Attendance, Behavior, and Course Completion (ABCs). By addressing the challenges of the students we serve, we are helping to remove barriers that may prevent them from graduating.
With a tiered approach, the CIS model allows us to serve all students at a school. In addition to school-wide supports, Site Coordinators identify specific students to receive Tier 2 and 3 services. These are students who are significantly struggling with attendance, behavior, and academics. Site Coordinators meet with these pre-identified students weekly for direct services, which can include goal setting, crisis intervention, life skills development, and student progress assessment. CIS has intentionally set the maximum number of CIS case-managed students to 50 per school in order to: allow Site Coordinators to provide in-depth one-on-one services to students with the greatest need; and set a reasonable expectation for our Site Coordinators to deliver Tier 3 services that will truly move the dial for these students.