Communities In Schools students drop out at half the state’s rate

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Communities In Schools students drop out at half the state’s rate

Communities In Schools addresses needs of the whole child, creates plan for success

Raleigh, NC, March 1, 2017 – Newly reported results from Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) show that high school students served by CIS drop out at a rate that is half that of high school students across North Carolina. Student outcomes from the 2015-16 school years, validated by RTI International, show that 2.29% of students statewide drop out of school as compared to 1.18% of the students served by CISNC — students often at greatest risk for not achieving their potential.

According to the findings from RTI International, 96% of students served by CIS are promoted to the next grade while 98% of seniors graduate. To achieve these results, CIS addresses the needs of the whole child, which includes the sometimes overlooked impact of influences inside and outside of the school. By placing student support specialists directly inside of schools to collaborate with school leadership, provide one-on-one supports and mobilize the community, barriers to student success are mitigated.

“CIS doesn’t just address academic barriers, but they help the whole child,” said Laura Knapp, Principal Investigator for RTI International, CIS’ third-party data validation partner. “In addition to providing high-quality services to students, CISNC collects valuable data that allows us to measure and document student success in key areas such as attendance, behavior, and academics.”

Student success is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and many districts across the state need the one-on-one attention student support specialists can provide to their students to help them improve in the areas of attendance, behavior, and coursework.

“CIS diffuses situations so kids can come to class focused and ready to learn and engage in a positive way,” said Tiffany Lyles, an educator at Westerly Hills Academy in Charlotte, NC.

Currently, CISNC Carolina has student support specialists in more than 300 schools across the state. During the 2015-16 school year, a little more than 16,000 students across the state received individual support plans to help them overcome barriers that kept them from achieving in the classroom.

“I’ve always been passionate about ensuring students receive the supports they need to succeed,” says CISNC President and CEO Eric Hall. “The new data from RTI International confirms that school environments can be transformed when school administration and great teachers are able to access wraparound services for their students to ensure that barriers to being at school and engaged in learning are removed, resulting in strong strides toward the future.”

Learning doesn’t stop for CIS students after graduation. Recently released data shows 85% of CIS students move on to post-secondary education. Others enter the workforce, certification or apprenticeship programs or the military. Thanks to a diploma, CIS graduates have already increased their spending power and will power the future as job-creators, homeowners, and economy-boosters.

Career-readiness will be critical to future graduates’ success, and the strong relationships that CIS maintains with communities allows them to nurture business relationships and potential employers.

“These data driven results show the impact CISNC is having on our schools, our communities, and our state,” says Tina Wilson, IBM’s Manager of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs. “As a founding partner, IBM continues to invest in Communities In Schools because of the impact they have on the lives of students. It is important for every child to have what they need to succeed in school and in life. The quality of the work, the data driven results and the impact to North Carolina all add up to a good return on IBM’s investment.”


About Communities In Schools of North Carolina

Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) is a leading partner in providing Integrated Student Supports or wraparound services to propel student success in more than 300 schools across the state. Based directly inside schools, student support specialists connect students and their families to evidence-based services and supports, as well as critical educational and community-based resources, to increase attendance, improve behavior, enhance coursework and engage more parents and families in student success. Tailored to each student’s specific needs, student support specialists create personalized toolkits for success and an educational experience where students can learn, thrive and power the future. Learn more at, and stay connected with CISNC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.