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Communities In Schools

2345 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Contact Information
Dr. Heather J. Clawson
Vice President of Research, Evaluation, and Innovation

Program Specifications


Prevention, Intervention

Age/Grade Level:

Elementary, Middle School, High School





Target Settings:

Rural, Urban, Suburban, Inner City

Target Groups:

Individuals, Clusters/Groups, Grade Level, School Wide

Other Participation Criteria:



In the span of a little more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has become one of the nation's leading dropout prevention organization. We have a unique model that positions a coordinator inside schools to assess needs and deliver necessary resources that remove barriers to success. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Our network is comprised of nearly 5,000 passionate professionals in 25 states and the District of Columbia. We serve the most vulnerable students in the most dropout-prone school districts, nearly 1.3 million young people in more than 2,700 schools. We are actively engaged with policy makers, school staff, parents and business partners to ensure that Communities In Schools' services are extended to as many K-12 students as possible and that those students have access to college.

Program Descriptors Include:

Academic Improvement, Attendance/Truancy, Behavior Management/Discipline, Bi-lingual/ESL, Bullying/Violence, Charter School, Community Collaboration, Counseling/Advisors/Coaches, Credit Recovery, Extended-School/Summer Program, Extra Curricular, Family/Parental Involvement, Homeless, Literacy Development, Students with Disabilities, Study Skills, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy

Program Rating:

Strong Evidence

Starting Year:


Students Served Per Year:


Last Verified:

May 9th, 2013

Strategies for Locating Students:


Reenrolled Students with Disabilities:


Risk Factors

Program addresses the following:

Individual Factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • High number of work hours
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family Factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school
  • Lack of conversations about school

School Factors

  • Limited resources: expenditures per student/ teacher salaries/ student-teacher ratios
  • School size: too small/too large
  • Race/ethnicity
  • School math achievement
  • School policies and practices

Protective Factors

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards
  • Positive/resilient temperament


  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility


  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self
  • Optimistic


  • Early warning systems
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Development of vocational skills
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $25,000 - $100,000 or less than $500 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Federal, State, Local/City/County, District, Donations, Foundations

Program Staff Includes:

Teachers, Counselors, Volunteers, Social Workers, SROs, Graduation Coaches, Parents, School Administrators
Mental Health Therapist

Materials Used:

Media/CD/DVD, Instructional Texts/Manuals, Computer/Internet Based

Supporting/Partner Organizations:

Evaluation Information

Description of Program Impact:
Positive effects on graduation and promotion rates, 8th grade math and reading proficiency, and 4th grade math demonstrated through school-level quasi-experimental study using propensity score matching. Student-level experimental studies demonstrate statistically significant and substantively important effects on high school dropout, credit completion, attendance, and gpa and middle school grade retention and reading.

How Evaluation Data Was Collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level
Outside experimental studies

Additional Evaluation Information:
Relevant URL: