Communities in Schools
THE BIG IDEA:
Communities in Schools is a national organization with proven results for dropout prevention and academic gain. A Site Coordinator is assigned to work on a school campus. As a non-school district emplyoee, the role has tremendous flexibility to meet the needs of families and remove barriers that keep students from being successful in school. The CIS Site Coordinator becomes a caseworker that can do home visits and meet with families. CIS has a network of resources to help wtih financial struggles, housing, utilities, job training, and more. For the student, CIS Site Coordinators might provide needed shoes, clothes, food backpacks on weekends, and school supplies. The campus has some flexibilities in goals that it identifies that need support that provide direction to the CIS Site Coordinator. The Site Coordinator might run student groups on academic or social topics or even lead an after school program. It is recommended that CIS Site Coordinators become part of the PBIS Tier 2/3 team.
Referring to a CIS Site Coordinator
While PSD intends to continue to build capacity by adding Site Coordinators, currently these individuals are only located at Curie, Emerson, and Robinson Elementary Schools and Chiawana High School. Any member of your staff that becomes aware of a physical need or barrier that prevents a student from engaging in academic and social activities may directly refer to a Site Coordinator. Parents may also self-refer.
Identifying Students for CIS Site Coordinator
In general, we would use the same criteria for Tier 2 students as for other interventions: 2 or more major behavior incidents or 6 or more minors (or at least 1 major and 3 minors). However, students may be referred for any number of reasons or real or perceived barriers.
Is it working?
The CIS Site Coordinator is mandated to track student progress and provide reports of progress for the students on their caseload. So administrators will have the data to know what is working, what is not working, and when further actions are no longer required. If the CIS Site Coordinator is part of the PBIS Tier 2/3 team, regular comunication will ensure that student behavior and progress is tracked and that appropriate interventions are aligned with student needs. The CIS Site Coordinator will be in a key position, along with Counselors, Behavior Intervention Specialists, and Administrators, to refer to Mental Health Counseling if a student is experiencing trauma or significant impacts from trauma.
Where can I learn more?
Communities in Schools Home Page [external site]