Tel: 210.520.8440 | Fax: 210.520.1104|Email: cissa@cissa.org

FAQ’s

//FAQ’s

Answers and fast facts about Communities In Schools.

We are the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization because we do whatever it takes. Our unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess the needs of students and to provide them resources that will help them stay in school and succeed in life. We partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s providing food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive role model, Communities In Schools is there to help. View our Unique Model  to learn more about all that we do to empower students.

Communities In Schools of San Antonio (CIS-SA) is changing the picture of education for nearly 45,000 students and their families every year. We do that by working with the most vulnerable students in kindergarten through the senior year of high school by operating inside school districts in some of the most challenged communities within Bexar, Atascosa and Frio Counties.  During the 2014-2015 school year, 65 percent of the students receiving Communities In Schools services had a family household income of less than $30,000 per year.

Communities In Schools’ site coordinators are each assigned a school. They serve on the management team of the school and collaborate with staff to identify students at risk of dropping out. In addition, the site coordinators forge community partnerships that bring programs and funding to the school in order to benefit students. Every year, Communities In Schools performs an annual needs assessment to determine what services students require most and how our organization can best deliver the services. Communities In Schools becomes involved in a school only at the invitation of the school or school district. Take a look at our Interactive Model  to learn more.

A site coordinator is a paid staff member positioned inside a Communities In Schools’ partner school. He or she fills a pivotal role as the single point of contact working within a school to provide integrated student supports. Site coordinators connect students and families with community resources that address both academic and nonacademic needs. They act as positive role models, mentors and friends to students supported by Communities In Schools and do everything within their power to help students succeed.

The training and experience of Communities In Schools site coordinators varies throughout the network, although most have extensive experience and educational background in youth development. Many of our site coordinators are former teachers and school staff, social workers, AmeriCorps members, or lifelong mentors and volunteers. All are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students.

Once hired, Communities In Schools site coordinators receive a comprehensive orientation and training for their specific roles and responsibilities. This rigorous, required training program includes:

  • Building community partnerships
  • Student and family needs assessment
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Effective school coordination

As an agency, the average number of direct hours given to a case-managed student is up to 21 hours during the school year.

  • One-on-on counseling focusing on anger management, grief, self-esteem, positive choices, social skills, etc.
  • Group activities that help with self-esteem, homework, reading skills, writing, leadership, life skills, etc.
  • Space and Robotics after-school programs
  • University and college tours
  • Meeting with community mentors each week
  • Service Learning Projects/Community Service
  • Job shadows at local companies
  • Providing students with basic needs
  • School supplies
  • Food packs so students have something to eat during the weekend
  • Eye glasses
  • Hygiene packs (tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, soap, shampoo/conditioner, etc)
  • Uniforms
  • Bus passes
  • Help in obtaining prescription medications
  • New and clean undergarments for elementary students
  • Shoes
  • Holiday gifts and meals
  • Baby gifts/essentials for teen parents
  • We also bring resources to the school such as dental screenings and financial literacy classes for parents

Our pre-college advisors continue to monitor our Upward Bound students’ progress as they pursue their post-secondary education.

We measure our performance methodically, carefully evaluate all aspects of our programs and use this knowledge to constantly improve. In the 2014-2015 school year, 94 percent of students in grades K-11 were promoted to the next grade, 97 percent of eligible seniors graduated and 99 percent of students remained in school.

To learn more about this data and our research efforts, visit the Our Results  page for information that provides evidence of how our work translates into student success.

Communities In Schools of San Antonio partners with several school districts to be placed within many campuses from K-12. To view a list of our current campuses, click here. If you do not see your school on the list or would like more information, please email cissa@cissa.org

There are numerous ways — in short, you can donate or volunteer Make an investment in the future of our city by donating to Communities In Schools of San Antonio which supports thousands of students each year. Or give us your time by joining more than 1,000 volunteers who help us serve nearly 45,000 young people every year.  Communities In Schools is governed by a voluntary board of directors and has a robust volunteer corps of Friends of CIS-SA. To see the full list of our volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer page.

Every dollar committed to Communities In Schools is well spent. Approximately 85 percent of every dollar goes directly to program work supporting students.

Communities In Schools of San Antonio is funded through numerous sources, including the school districts we serve.  Other sources include federal and corporate grants, as well as foundation and individual donations. Click here to view a list of some of our funders.

Partnerships with corporations are critical to Communities In Schools’ mission. Through volunteerism, cause marketing, student internship programs and employee giving, our corporate partners are dedicated to addressing the dropout crisis and strengthening our future workforce.

To request an interview with a Communities In Schools staff member, please contact the Director of Marketing, Felisha Sanchez at 210.520.8440 or fsanchez@cissa.org.

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