Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools
Implementing Organization: 
Communities in Schools
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Recognizing that many students need additional support to succeed in school, Communities In Schools (CIS) works to provide and connect students with integrated support services to keep them on a path to graduation based on need.? The model includes preventive services that are available to all students (Level 1 services) as well as intensive, targeted, and sustained services provided through case management (Level 2 services) for the 5 percent to 10 percent of students who display significant risk factors for dropping out, such as poor academic performance, high absentee rates, or behavioral problems.

Two Years of Case Management: Final Findings from the Communities in Schools Random Assignment Evaluation (see links above right for full documents)

This report presents the final implementation and impact findings from a two-year randomized controlled trial of CIS case management.

  • CIS case-managed students participated in support activities more frequently than non-case-managed students overall;
  • ?Case management had a positive effect on several nonacademic outcomes, including students’ attitudes about school and their relationships with adults and peers; however,?
  • ?Case management did not improve students’ school progress, achievement, attendance, or behavior.

Using Integrated Student Supports to Keep Kids in School: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Communities in Schools (see links above right for full documents)

This study examines the CIS model’s effect on students’ outcomes in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. It compares 53 CIS schools in Texas and North Carolina with 78 matched comparison schools. Findings:

  • ?For the high schools, on-time graduation rates increased — and dropout rates decreased — in the study schools after the CIS model was launched. Graduation and dropout rates also improved in the comparison schools, so it is unclear whether the CIS model was more effective than the strategies used by the comparison schools.
  • In elementary schools, attendance rates improved in schools implementing the CIS model more than they did in a group of similar, comparison schools.
  • It was not possible to evaluate whether the CIS model improved middle school students' behavior outcomes.
  • There was no effect on attendance in middle and high schools.
  • There was no effect on test scores in elementary and high schools.
  • In middle schools, English/language arts test scores did not improve in schools implementing the CIS model, whereas they did improve in a group of similar, comparison middle schools. 
CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Youth Development (SIF)
Age(s) Studied: 
6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Outcomes Category(s): 
K-12 Success
Study Type(s): 
Study Design(s): 
Experimental (RCT)
Quasi-Experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence: 
Year Published: 
Back to Top