Communities in Schools (CIS) Program and Executive Directors’ Support

The Need

In the 2015-16 school year, the Texas Education Agency calculated 50 percent of students were considered at risk in Texas, and 59 percent of students were classified as economically disadvantaged. Without additional supports and systems before, during, and outside of the school day to keep these students engaged, they are more likely to drop out. Communities in Schools (CIS) is a dropout prevention program partially funded by the state with statewide coordination through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The support and assistance provided by this project seeks to strengthen the continuity of dropout prevention services and decrease the dropout rate in Texas.

TXCC Response

TXCC worked with the Texas CIS State Coordinator at TEA to support the 26 CIS Executive Directors to build a community of practice to address identified needs and to share best practices and experiences. In particular, TXCC provided technical assistance to TEA on conducting needs assessments of CIS affiliates, designing affiliate meetings to address needs, and building capacity to identify and communicate data to help affiliates improve effectiveness. TXCC also identified resources that TEA shared with affiliates on effective meeting practices, facilitation, and data visualization.