By Anita Cech
Child Trends, a national research nonprofit, released a new report affirming the effectiveness and cost efficiency of integrated student supports (ISS) programs like Communities In Schools (CIS) in improving education outcomes. These programs target both academic and non-academic barriers to achievement by identifying individual student needs and mobilizing community resources to meet them.
“As the largest ISS provider in Washington, we are very pleased to see that our student-focused program continues to prove effective in reducing dropout rates across the region,” said Susan Richards, state director of Communities In Schools of Washington. “Our students have experienced firsthand the benefits of an integrated model, and it is important that state lawmakers address barriers to learning both inside and outside the classroom.”
Key findings from Child Trends’ latest report, Integrated Student Supports: The Evidence (www.childtrends.org/issreport) include:
- ISS programs increase math achievement and student attendance and lower dropout rates;
- Student-centric programs that focus on all aspects of students’ needs, both academic and non-academic, are more likely to be successful than ones that focus on single factors in isolation;
- ISS programs are cost effective and yield a positive return on investment; and,
- High-quality implementation is key to the effectiveness of these programs, while low-quality or partial implementation shows lower or no difference at all in effectiveness.
About Communities In Schools of Washington
Communities In Schools of Washington internal data of the CIS model shows that 99% of potential dropouts served stayed in school, while 96% of secondary students were promoted or graduated. Through a commitment to National Accreditation, CIS of Washington assures fidelity to the proven model. Student success also extends outward to communities, with every dollar invested in CIS creating $11.60 in economic benefit for the community according to a recent ROI study.
Through a school-based site coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. It has been shown through an independent evaluation to be the nation’s only dropout prevention organization proven to both increase graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. Nationally, Communities In Schools serves 1.3 million young people and their families every year. In Washington State, more than 54,000 students are served in 14 school districts and 160 schools in King, Pierce, Spokane and Whatcom Counties. Visit our website at www.ciswa.org for statewide and local affiliate information.