Communities in Schools
The mission of Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region, Inc. is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region, Inc. (CISDR) has been changing the picture of education and opportunity for at-risk children in the Dallas region for more than three decades. CISDR was established in 1985 to help reinforce the economic future of the Dallas area by ensuring public school students are given the tools to succeed in academics, health, and life.
The CIS model is an evidence-based, best practice series of interventions with trained staff who are embedded on school campuses, providing daily services to high-need students and their families. These interventions may include, but are not limited to academic tutoring, truancy prevention, group therapy, individual counseling, basic needs assistance, referrals to community partners, translation services for students and families with limited English proficiency, job assistance, and mental health services, just to scratch the surface. CISDR staff, called site coordinators,create an environment where children feel safe, are able to express themselves, and can build relationships with caring adults, helping to discover the core reasons these children are at risk of academic failure. CISDR walks hand in hand with the local school district to assist the school and students who are coping with a broad scope of issues, most not of their own making, such as homelessness, hunger, food insecurity, family violence, and untreated mental and physical illness.
Site coordinators are often social workers, former educators, or activists who want to make a profound difference in the lives of children. They are uniquely qualified not only to provide emotional and academic support, but to understand the unique challenges presented to at-risk students. On a day-to-day basis, CISDR site coordinators are expected to serve 100 children through three tiers of support to partner schools. Tier I services include the availability of schoolwide assistance for students and families, creating an integrated community support network around children, with a focus on continuity of care. Tier II service provisions center on targeted intervention strategies that intervene with students at risk, offering programming that is tailored to their individual needs. Tier III services utilize intensive case management, individual assessment/intake, counseling, crisis intervention, and related mental health services.
Of the 8,000 plus students receiving CISDR case management services in 2019-2020, 99.27% were promoted to the next grade and 100% remained in school. The largest gain for case managed students was in the arena of academics, where 86.45% of students showed demonstrable educational gains. Site coordinators with CISDR are present on over 100 campuses across Dallas, Collin, Hunt, Ellis, and Kaufman counties.