THE CIS SOLUTION
Struggling 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 vulnerable 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.
As a CIS affiliate, CIS of the Twin Cities 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
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.
Through conversations with school leadership and review of school improvement plans, the CIS 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.