One out of every six students drops out of school. The odds say it will be a student of color. It’s the last stop on a journey through an education system that doesn’t protect and support kids living with the weight of poverty and trauma. Communities In Schools (CIS) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have a proven solution. CIS works hand-in-hand with schools to establish an integrated student supports model, surrounding kids and their families with a system of caring adults that keep students on the path to graduation. CCSSO works with state leaders to enact change for equity in education. Together, we will transform the public education system to ensure every child can succeed. The evidence is clear: 99% of students receiving the most intensive level of integrated student supports remain in school throughout the academic year, and 96% of seniors graduate or receive a GED.
Communities In Schools Incwebsite: https://www.communitiesinschools.org/
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Communities In Schools (CIS) and The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) combined response to COVID-19 stretches from the state level to the individual child in order to holistically meet the needs of our students. CIS has moved to telehealth counseling programs for both students and parents through Zoom to meet social emotional needs and assessment. CIS site coordinators are also trying to bridge the digital divide by distributing tablets and other technology for online learning while also delivering basic needs directly to students’ homes, helping parents find diaper banks, or even staffing local meal pick-up spots. Complementing these efforts, CCSSO is working to create favorable policy environments and public funding including assisting state governments with school closures and homeschooling policies to the digital divide and school meals.
Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response
From systemic opportunity gaps, and harsher punishments for students of color and students with disabilities to cyclical income inequality, Communities In Schools understands the challenges that our students and families face, and we believe in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion to make a positive and lasting impact:
•For our students, a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion means increasing educational opportunities, enhancing student outcomes, reducing exclusionary discipline practices, and fostering feelings of safety and connectedness.
•For our organizations, prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion means creating a diverse workforce, fostering a climate of inclusion, and shaping business practices and policies that promote equity to reduce employee turnover, improve decision-making, and incentivize creativity and fresh thinking.
•For our communities, elevating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the ways we partner with stakeholders, including parents, community leaders, educators, policymakers, business leaders and faith-based organizations, means bringing people together to find innovative solutions that collectively address issues like systemic poverty and other barriers to equity.