Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada (CIS), an affiliate of the fifth largest state office of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, is widening its footprint and reaching even more students and families in need by adding two schools to its network: Ollie Detwiler Elementary School and Raul P. Elizondo Elementary School. CIS’ network in Clark County consists of 53 high poverty schools which includes an enrollment of nearly 60,000 students considered to be most at risk for drop-out.
“We are thrilled to have Communities in Schools and Ms. Hernandez, our site coordinator, as part of the Detwiler team of support,” said Lisa M. Martin, principal, Ollie Detwiler Elementary School. “She brings a wealth of resources, care and compassion to round out the wraparound services that we provide to our students and families. We know the amazing future that our scholars are destined for, thanks to the guidance and encouragement provided by Ms. Hernandez. We are grateful to now be a part of the Communities In Schools family.”
“Having Communities In Schools as a part of our campus is a big boost for our students,” said Dr. Caper Sesto, school counselor, Raul P. Elizondo Elementary School. “The organization and its well-trained team are especially effective in helping us to reach our kids and families, while encouraging our students to stay in school and planting seeds of desire to work towards graduation. In these especially hard times, we appreciate CIS helping us to ensure every student reaches their potential. Putting our students on a path to graduation, no matter what it takes, is our collective goal.”
During a time that has been exceptionally full of challenges and financial hardships for so many, the addition of two schools to CIS’s network is demonstration of CIS’ unyielding commitment to not only maintain its operations within its current schools, but also to expand further into a community that needs their services now more than ever.
“The year 2020 forced our organization to think outside the box and find unique ways to reach our students, no matter what the situation,” said Cheri Ward, affiliate executive director, Communities In Schools of Southern Nevada. “While the pandemic flipped our script of placing site coordinators directly in schools, it’s also shown us just how much we can continue to accomplish when we put our minds to it and keep our focus on what matters most: our students. While schools are closed, many of our site coordinators have continued to spend much of their time working from their schools, making well-being phone calls and scheduling much needed home visits to ensure families have what they need to continue distance learning. Given growing demand for our services, we are pleased to add Detwiler and Elizondo Elementary Schools to our growing list of schools and remain grateful for support from the community to ensure we are able to reach even more students in need.”
CIS uses an evidence-based methodology to help students graduate. In fact, 98 percent of students who participate in the CIS program advance to the next grade level and 94 percent of high school seniors earn their graduation caps and gowns, remarkable rates that speak to the success of the program. That number, by comparison, exceeds Nevada’s standard high school graduation rate of 84 percent and is even more impressive given that CIS case-managed students are considered the most vulnerable and prone to drop-out.
But, unfortunately, Nevada still ranks 47th in the nation for education, a statistic that should alarm all Nevadans. And while CIS’ reach has expanded, thanks to the addition of these two schools, there remains hundreds of thousands of students in Clark County alone who are still in need of services provided by programs like CIS.
“We are now in more than 50 schools, but with over 200 Title I schools in the Clark County School District and ten schools currently on our wait list, there is much work to be done. We are making strides in our positive impact and reach, but there are hundreds of thousands of students who still need access to our caring site coordinators and the services offered through our community partners to recognize their potential and be given the best chance at not only graduating, but succeeding in life, beyond high school,” said Ward.
Students who are hungry, sick, anxious, bullied or troubled may be too overwhelmed to learn, leading to failure in the classroom and eventually dropping out. Employing a network of more than 100 community agencies and nonprofits, CIS literally brings the community into schools to provide students with the services and resources they need to alleviate outside pressures and overcome barriers that prevent them from learning, ultimately encouraging them to stay in school.
About Communities In Schools of Nevada
Communities In Schools of Nevada is the fifth-largest state office of the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization that believes every child has potential but may lack the opportunity to succeed. Communities In Schools places caring, well-trained, full-time employees in high poverty schools to build trusting relationships with students, assess their needs and remove the barriers they face to learn and graduate. Communities In Schools of Nevada taps into a network of more than 100 nonprofit agencies and nonprofits to meet student needs – literally bringing the community into the schools it serves.
Communities In Schools of Nevada operates in nearly 75 rural and urban schools throughout four school districts statewide. In total, Communities In Schools of Nevada serves more than 75,000 students, including ten schools in Western Nevada; nine schools in Northern Nevada and 53 schools in Southern Nevada. Nationally, Communities In Schools provides services in more than 2,300 schools in 26 states and the District of Columbia, serving 1.56 million young people and their families every year. For more information, please see our website http://www.cisnevada.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.