Communities In Schools Coming to Milford

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Staff Report

Specific Programs and Initiatives aimed at
Parent Engagement and Community Engagement

Communities in Schools of Delaware, dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, has developed a partnership with the Milford School District to build and support a Communities In Schools Model of integrated student services and promote increased parent and community engagement while helping to transition Milford Central Academy students into Milford High School. School district leadership, in collaboration with Communities In Schools leadership have partnered using Federal Race To The Top funds and other public and private funds to replicate a Communities In Schools site at Central Milford Academy. School officials, teachers, parents and community members are invited to participate in a Community Focus meeting to be held Monday, June 20th at Milford Central Academy from 8am to 10am.

This meeting will help to plan the Communities In Schools site focusing on some common principles such as:
a. A one-on-one relationship with adults who mentor or help guide students;
b. A safe place for students to learn and develop before, during and after the school day;
c. Connections to health professionals and counselors;
d. Connections with college and career counselors — as well as internship opportunities — that can help students envision their potential for achieving significant goals; and
e. Connections to community service and service-learning opportunities.

“The Communities In Schools model is a powerful tool to help turn around low performing
schools. In partnership with teachers, principals and superintendents, Communities In Schools is achieving impressive results in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of our country,” said Dan Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators.

Community-based, comprehensive student services, including parental engagement, can make the difference between student success and failure. If well-managed and implemented, community-based, comprehensive student services can dramatically reduce the risk of students dropping out of school.

The CIS Model includes a trained CIS school-based site coordinator, comprehensive school- and student-level needs assessment, community asset assessment and identification of potential partners, annual plans for school-level prevention and individual intervention strategies, prevention services and resources for the whole school coupled with coordinated, targeted and sustained intervention services and resources for the most at-risk and data collection, monitoring and adjusting services offered to individual students and/or the entire school population.

“Communities In Schools offers an individualized community focused approach to help students overcome roadblocks to success by mobilizing community assets and centering them at the school to address the social and academic needs of students and their families”, said Jim Purcell, President of Communities In Schools of Delaware.

By bringing caring adults into the schools to address children’s unmet needs, CIS provides the link between educators and the community. The result: Teachers are free to teach, and students—many in jeopardy of dropping out—finally have the opportunity to focus on learning.

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them tostay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. Working in more than 3,400 schools, in the most challenged communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.3 million young people and their families every year. It has become the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both increase graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. For more information visit www.communitiesinschools.org and www.cisdelaware.org

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