Communities In Schools – A Proven Model
Communities In Schools employs a service model proven by independent research to produce positive outcomes for at-risk youth and schools. The CIS Model pairs the provision of widely accessible prevention services and resources that are available to entire school populations with coordinated, targeted and sustained intervention services and resources for the subset of students who are most at risk of dropping out of school. At the school level, the CIS site coordinator works with school administrators to identify school and student needs, developing a plan of integrated whole-school and targeted services. The site coordinator oversees the delivery of services and ensures effectiveness by monitoring and adjusting services as needed.
An independent, five-year evaluation of Communities In Schools finds that CIS is one of a very few organizations proven to keep students in school and the only one to document that it increases graduation rates. The study also shows that a higher percentage of students served by Communities in Schools reach proficiency in 4th-grade and 8th-grade reading and math. The evaluation employed multiple methodologies including a quasi-experimental study at the school level and randomized control trials at the student level.
Performance Learning Centers – An Effective Strategy
Developed in 2002 by CIS of Georgia, Performance Learning Centers (PLC) are nontraditional learning environments for high school students who are not succeeding in traditional schools. The strategy also employs the CIS model with a CIS site services coordinator providing students with the additional supports they need to be successful. Small academic settings, business like environments and self-directed learning enable students to stay in school, excel academically and graduate with a marketable skill. This strategy has been successfully replicated within the CIS network nationally.
An independent evaluation of Performance Learning Centers in Georgia was completed in 2009. The centerpiece of the multiple method evaluation is a quasi-experimental study of the effects of Performance Learning Centers on graduation and drop out rates in districts that implement the model. The evaluators concluded that “Georgia PLCs’ targeted efforts appear to be having large district effects on student graduation rates and dropout rates – a finding which is surprising given that PLCs only enroll approximately 75 to 80 students within a district. Apparent reasons for this outcome appear to be centered in the PLC’s non-traditional, self-directed, student-centered learning environment.”
To obtain copies of all volumes of the PLC study, contact our director of evaluation and technology at lkelley(at)cisgeorgia.org.