The 25th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference was held in Atlanta to provide an opportunity for more than 1,000 registered education professionals to gain knowledge and practical skills to enhance their skills and focus on the critical issue of school dropouts and strategies for increasing graduation rates.
CIS of Georgia, which was a conference partner for the event, provided three sessions concerning our work to help at-risk students stay in school and achieve in life.  Conference attendees received CIS-related information in the following areas:

  • A Community Development Approach to Student Success:  Attendees learned how the CIS model increases student success.  Seminar participants gained understanding at the importance of community engagement in ensuring program success – for the student, family and school.
  • The Communities In Schools Performance Learning Center – small high schools for students not succeeding in the traditional school setting: During this session, attendees learned our PLCs provide at-risk high school students a professional learning environment that emphasizes personal support.  Performance Learning Centers create a positive school climate, address students’ non-academic needs and provide challenging curriculum.  Opportunities like service learning, senior projects and dual-enrollment develop citizenship, leadership and college/career-readiness.
  • From At-Risk to College and Career Ready: Communities In Schools equips at-risk students by offering an array of programs and activities that provide college and career awareness and preparation.  Programs such as dual enrollment courses, mentoring and exposure to post-secondary options allow students to make informed decisions regarding their educational and professional trajectories

In conjunction with this year’s event, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed Monday, November 4, 2013 as Dropout Prevention Awareness Day.


Family Connection/Communities In Schools of Berrien County, Inc. is
a unique nonprofit, public-private partnership created in 1996 by caring citizens and supported by a combination of federal, state and local funds including private, corporate and individual contributions.

We assist our communities in addressing the serious challenges facing Berrien County’s children and families.  Our goals are for all children to reside in a stable and healthy family, remain free of abuse and neglect, free of delinquency and teen pregnancy, and to succeed in school and graduate on-time. 

Our Board of Directors that serves as our governing board of Family Connection/Communities In Schools of Berrien County provides and monitors all aspects of our work and programs of FC/CIS of Berrien County collaboration. The Board of Director consists of 16 members, of which 60% represent private sectors and 40% represent public sectors.  The role of the board consists of monitoring collaborative progress and linking collaborative members to the community and funding sources. In addition, the board is viewed as having input into which grants are appropriate for their community’s needs and therefore sought.

Since created in 1996, the collaborative has secured millions in funding for Berrien County's children and families. Current and/or previous funders include" state legislature (through Georgia Family Connection Partnership and Communities in Schools of Georgia);  federal Community Based Abstinence Education Program; Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative; Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse Program; Drug Free Communities Support Program; federal Parental Information Resource Center Program; federal Compassion Capital Program;  21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative; Even Start Family Literacy Program; AT&T Aspire Program; Youth Developmental Funds; Community Development Block Grant Program;  Rotary, Wal-Mart; and the School Based Clinic.