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Dropout Prevention



Who We Are - Background & Programs

CIS Background and Programs
Board of Directors

Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area, Inc.

Celebrating 26 years of serving Lowcountry students!

Provides a nationally acclaimed dropout prevention program that surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Holds an accredited status with the 37-year-old Communities In Schools-National in Arlington, Virginia, which oversees 187 affiliates nationwide. A recent five-year independent study by ICF International ranked the CIS Model as the most effective dropout prevention organization in America and the only one proven to increase graduation rates.

President Obama has heralded it as one of the bright spots in public education. Time Magazine recently included Communities In Schools in its comprehensive "What Makes Schools Great" feature. Worth magazine has twice named CIS-National as one of the 100 charities that will save the world.

During the 2013-14 school year, 96% of students promoted to the next grade and 95% of seniors graduated. Out of the seniors that graduated, 88% went on to college and 10% joined the military.

Partners with Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts to serve over 13,200 students in 28 schools, using an evidenced-based comprehensive approach to bring community services to students, their families, and schools.

The Student Support Program is designed to address the risk and protective factors that influence a child's academic success and the decision to remain in school.

CIS outcomes are tracked on multilayer data management system (CISDM).

Uses a proven process for developing public/private partnerships with businesses, grantors, government agencies, and volunteers who, last year donated over 62,000 service hours.

Reports that 91% of donated income goes directly to program services.

Maintains a 501 (c)(3) status and a $2.8 million budget to support 40 in-school employees and 12 office staff members. CIS owns and maintains a 2,100-sq.-ft office building at 1090 East Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC.

CIS Charleston was established in 1989, following a study by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland that advised the Charleston County School District to implement dropout prevention programs. In a 1990 partnership with the Charleston County School District CIS established the Septima P. Clark Corporate Academy, Charleston County’s first alternative high school. The Clark Academy offers a low student/teacher ratio and a comprehensive support staff for students who have previously not excelled in the traditional school setting. America’s Promise has recognized the academy as one of America’s Schools of Promise.



CIS achieves positive results with the students who actively participate in the CIS programs. For the 2013-14 school year, the following outcomes were achieved based on 1,233 students who received Student Support services:

• 96% were promoted (excludes seniors)
• 95% of the seniors graduated
• 88% of seniors enrolled in college; 10% in military service
• 79% maintained adequate attendance

• 74% improved Math scores

• 78% improved Reading scores

• 89% improved behavior

"The Five Basics for Kids"

By facilitating the implementation of an integrated service delivery system, CIS is able to place services in the school where students/families have access on a daily basis. Within this diversity of approaches, all CIS partnerships are united behind “the five basics for kids”:

Every child needs and deserves a personal, one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
Every child needs and deserves a safe place to learn and grow
Every child needs and deserves a marketable skill to use upon graduation
Every child needs and deserves a chance to give back to peers and community
Every child needs and deserves a healthy start and a healthy future

Communities In Schools’ Programs

Take a deeper look into the programs and services that CIS offers:




Communities In Schools