About Us

Communities In Schools started in Georgia over 30 years ago and is now the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, serving over one million youth in 25 states and the District of Columbia.  ICF International recently completed a comprehensive five-year evaluation, comparing the results to over 1,600 studies screened by the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse.  ICF concluded that the Communities In Schools model is cost effective, reduces dropout rates and increases graduation rates.


Our Mission

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The nation-wide network of nonprofit organizations focuses on improving student and school success by providing needed support and services to students and schools. Our goal is to support youth, improve graduation rates, academic achievement and job and post-secondary school readiness.

Communities In Schools believes that programs don’t change kids, relationships do. Our philosophy is embedded in the CIS five basics for kids©, which focus on building a supportive environment for children and youth to help them thrive and be successful. The CIS five basics listed below were adopted by America’s Promise when it started in 1997.

The State Office

Communities In Schools of Georgia is part of the national network and builds statewide capacity for our network of local affiliates to sustain, grow and improve educational outcomes for under-served youth. Communities In Schools of Georgia for technical support in the following areas:

  • Communities In Schools Affiliate Program Initiation and Development
  • Community Development – building community alliances to develop CIS affiliate programs that work in the interest of our students, parents, and their schools
  • Program Development – strengthening CIS affiliate programs by implementing proven strategies
  • Training and Conferences
  • Technical Support
  • Resource Development
  • Public Relations and Marketing
  • Program Evaluation

Click here for information regarding CIS of Georgia’s strategies, supports to local affiliates, key initiative and services.

Our History

(left to right) Neil Shorthouse, Bill Milliken, and David Lewis

Communities In Schools, an independent nonprofit corporation focused on school success and dropout prevention, has its roots in Georgia. In the early 70’s, Bill Milliken, Neil Shorthouse and David Lewis established Cities In Schools in Atlanta as a private/public partnership to help urban kids graduate from high school and plan successful futures. Years later the name was changed to Communities In Schools (CIS). The Communities In Schools national office provides detailed information on the network. Communities In Schools of Georgia continues to be an innovator in the CIS network and developed the Performance Learning Centers® (PLCs).  The success of our PLC  initiative has led to the program now being expanded to other CIS communities throughout the United States.