Communities In Schools started in Georgia more than 40 years ago and serves over 1.6 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.



The CIS Model

The CIS Model is an evidence-based model, adapted to meet each community's unique needs, is being implemented in Berrien County in the Performance Learning Center Academy as a comprehensive site and at the Berrien Middle School as a developing site. Through a school-based CIS Site Coordinator/Case Manager, we are able to strategically align and deliver needed resources so that students can focus on learning. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.


Our Philosophy


Communities In Schools believe 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 five basics listed below were adopted by America’s Promise when it started in 1997.


 The five basics which CIS believe every child needs and deserves are:

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