Donation to Communities in Schools of North Texas helps save one program through 2012
Left to right: From GE Capital, Thomas Ready, Brian McGarvey and Diane Cooper,
CISNT Interim CEO Dana Smith and Lewisville ISD Board President Carol Kyer
IRVING, TX, JUNE 13, 2011 - Three executives of GE Capital's Equipment Finance business joined representatives from Communities In Schools of North Texas at the Lewisville ISD school board meeting to present a $10,000 check from the proceeds of a noteworthy GE award to the agency.
Based in Lewisville, Communities In Schools of North Texas operates dropout prevention programs in four area school districts that served more than 2,000 at-risk youths during the most recent academic year.
"Due to a reduction of our state funding, we have split programs in most of our campuses, which means more than 600 students who received our support this year will not have us in their schools next year," said Dana Smith, Communities In Schools of North Texas interim chief executive officer.
To see the organization's impact on a single student's life, check out the video about Maritza, the Communities In Schools of North Texas 2010 Student of the Year. Maritza had a turbulent home life and learned English as a second language, but today she is the first person in her family to graduate high school and the first to go to college. She attends Texas Woman's University's nursing program. To view the video, click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/cisnorthtexas#p/u/12/uXL_76N6BB0
GE Capital's chairman and chief executive officer Michael A. Neal presented the President's Award, the company's highest-level management recognition, to Diane Cooper, Equipment Finance business leader and a GE Officer. The award, given for exceptional leadership, provides the winners with the opportunity to make a donation to the charity of their choosing. GE Capital has maintained a relationship with Communities In Schools of North Texas since 2007, which over the years has encompassed mentoring, career day sponsorship and skills development assistance.
"This wonderful organization inspires 1,200 volunteers across the area to give about 18,000 hours of service each year. Because of their efforts, more than 90% of the students are promoted to the next grade level," said GE Capital's Cooper. "We're glad that we can help this worthwhile program continue for another academic year."
About Communities in Schools of North Texas
The mission of Communities in Schools of North Texas is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The agency targets vulnerable populations, such as teen parents, gang members, the homeless, those who abuse drugs or alcohol, and those who have incarcerated parents, for comprehensive and holistic services designed to help them overcome these barriers and stay in school.
Lewisville, TX - June 13, 2011:
Communities In Schools of North Texas was awarded $1.6 million from Texas Education Agency for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Cycle 7 grant, a program that provides at-risk students opportunities for learning beyond the normal school day.
This grant will allow CISNT to open 10 new after school programs to serve students at-risk of dropping out of school in Lewisville and Denton Independent School Districts. The grant is a collaborative effort between Communities In Schools of North Texas, Lewisville ISD, Denton ISD, Garden Ridge Church of Christ, Mad Science of DFW, Mindworks Resources, Robson Ranch Kiwanis, Texas Women's University, University of North Texas, United Way of Denton County, The Village Church, and Wells Fargo Bank.
The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program is to provide academic enrichment to students that will increase their success in school. In addition, support is provided for parents, which will include adult ESL classes, financial literacy training, tax preparation assistance training and Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) preparation training from the United Way of Denton County and Wells Fargo Bank, and college readiness activities through the University of North Texas.
Communities In Schools of North Texas' new after school programs will provide dropout prevention programming at Hedrick Elementary, Independence Elementary, Lakeland Elementary, Lewisville Elementary, Peters Colony Elementary, and Southridge Elementary in Lewisville ISD, and Borman Elementary, Ginnings Elementary, and Rivera Elementary in Denton ISD.
"The 21st Century Community Learning Center after school programs will undoubtedly enhance what students are accomplishing in the classroom during the school day," said Dana Smith, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Communities In Schools of North Texas. "This grant will allow students at-risk of dropping out of school the opportunity to continue in the learning environment an additional 12 hours a week, and will provide resources to parents and families to help them support their student's academic success."
Communities In Schools of North Texas will need to hire new staff to serve as full-time Site Coordinators and part-time Academic Enrichment Specialists at these schools. Interested applicants should go to http://cisnt.org/about-us/careers-with-cisnt to apply.
Communities In Schools of North Texas is also actively seeking volunteers who will donate one hour a week as a mentor to a student. Volunteers are trained by the organization's staff to prepare them for a successful mentoring experience. Last year more than 1,200 volunteers served as school-based mentors with Communities In Schools of North Texas, donating over 18,000 hours of service. The Communities In Schools of North Texas staff hopes to dramatically increase the level of volunteer mentorship in Lewisville and Denton ISD through these 10 new after school programs.
Communities In Schools of North Texas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves over 2,000 students at-risk of dropping out of school in Denton and Wise counties. To learn more about Communities In Schools of North Texas, or make a donation, visit www.CISNT.org or call 972-436-6377.
Lewisville, TX – May 26, 2011: Communities In Schools of North Texas (CISNT) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Dana Smith will serve as the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the organization while they conduct a search for the agency’s new Executive Director.
Dana Smith has worked with CISNT since 2005 serving in a variety of positions, including Director of Community Investments, and currently serves as the agency’s Director of Program Research and Grant Development. Ms. Smith may be reached at
CISNT is accepting applications for the Executive Director position until June 15th, 2011. Interested candidates can get more information or apply by going to http://www.cisnt.org/about-us/careers-with-cisnt. The Board of Directors anticipates selecting the new Executive Director by mid-July.
Communities In Schools of North Texas is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves over 2,000 students at-risk of dropping out of school in Denton and Wise counties. To learn more about Communities In Schools of North Texas or make a donation visit www.CISNT.org or call (972) 436-6377.
Evaluation Ranks Communities In Schools as Most Effective Dropout Prevention Organization in America
Largest and Most Comprehensive Evaluation of Dropout Prevention Programs Ever Completed
February 25, 2011
Washington, DC – Communities In Schools, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, today released the results of a five- year comprehensive longitudinal evaluation, conducted by one of the nation’s foremost social science evaluation firms.
After five years of detailed evaluation underwritten by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the evaluation concluded that Communities In Schools' model resulted in the strongest reduction in dropout rates of any existing fully scaled dropout prevention program that has been evaluated; that Communities In Schools is unique in having an effect on both reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates; and that the Communities In Schools model is effective across states, school settings, grade levels and student ethnicities. Importantly, analyses indicate that the more fully and carefully the model is implemented, the stronger the effects.
The study, the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of dropout prevention programs ever completed, was designed with eight distinct interlocking phases, including:
-An implementation study that examined results from 1,766 Communities In Schools sites nationwide;
-A quasi-experimental study that compared results from 602 Communities In Schools sites against 602 matched sites without a Communities In Schools presence;
-A “deep dive” study of 368 Communities In Schools sites to identify best practices; and
-Three randomized controlled trials, the gold standard in social science evaluation, studying 573 students at nine sites.
“This comprehensive, multi-level multi-method study has provided important information about the effectiveness of the Communities In Schools approach, and I am pleased that Communities In Schools is using the findings to make their model consistent and strong across hundreds of sites,” commented Kristin Moore, Ph.D., senior scholar, Child Trends, and member, Communities In Schools National Evaluation Advisory Committee.
In comparing the results to over 1,600 studies screened by the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, the evaluation concluded that the Communities In Schools model is associated with the strongest reduction in dropout rates among all existing fully scaled dropout prevention programs in the United States. Specific findings included:
-Communities In Schools’ positive effect on both dropout rates and graduation rates is unique among dropout prevention programs;
-The higher the level of fidelity to the Communities In Schools model, the greater the effects, which validates the power of the model;
-Positive effects accrued to schools across states, settings (urban, suburban, rural), grade levels and ethnicities; and
-The Austin randomized controlled trial, which demonstrated a reduction in student dropout rates that was nearly three times the What Works Clearinghouse’s threshold for “substantively important” effects.
“The Communities In Schools model is a powerful tool to help turn around low performing schools. In partnership with teachers, principals and superintendents, Communities In Schools is achieving impressive results in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of our country,” said Dan Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators.
The results from the evaluation are already being translated into improved service delivery by Communities In Schools local affiliates. Based on the mid-point results from the Implementation Study and the Quasi-Experimental Study, Communities In Schools codified a set of program and business standards that the research revealed had the greatest effect on student improvement, and then drove those practices back into the network through an accreditation process. Approximately 108 affiliates have been accredited or are in the process, with all affiliates on track for accreditation by 2015.
“The research findings have fueled an even greater sense of urgency within our network – a commitment that we need to bring the strongest, most evidence-based and rigorously evaluated practices to the young people we serve, and that we need to do it immediately,” said Daniel Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools.
In addition to taking this research to practice, Communities In Schools has identified several areas for further study, and is currently developing plans for future phases of research. “We have an obligation to the young people we serve and to the field we lead to continue to grow the body of evidence that informs our work,” said Cardinali.
N.B. In conducting this research, the evaluators adhered to the approach of the What Works Clearinghouse in measuring program effects, which recognizes the practical importance of understanding the magnitude of effects (as measured by effect size) as opposed to relying solely on statistical significance.
A copy of the final evaluation report is on our website at:
About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources, tailored to local needs. Working in more than 3,400 schools, in the most challenged communities in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves nearly 1.3 million young people and their families every year. It has become the nation's leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to both increase graduation rates and reduce dropout rates. Visit our website at
Special Thanks to Pearson
The release of the Communities In Schools National Evaluation is supported by a grant from Pearson, the global leader in education and education technology, and an innovator in the development and implementation of early warning indicator systems, one of the fundamental elements of effective dropout prevention efforts.
Communities In Schools Five-Year Evaluation Press Conference
For Immediate Release
DATE: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Lewisville, TX – Communities In Schools of North Texas has achieved National Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with all Communities In Schools Total Quality System (TQS) standards.
The TQS standards define expectations for effective non-profit business practices and for implementing the Communities In Schools model of integrated student support services at school sites. The site standards are based on a five-year, longitudinal national evaluation conducted by an independent, outside evaluator that documented the impact of the Communities In Schools model. The evaluation revealed that schools implementing the Communities In Schools model with high fidelity had higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and performed better than comparison schools in increasing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding math and reading proficiency in 4th and 8th grades, a crucial predictor of high school graduation.
Communities In Schools is the nation's leading dropout prevention program for at-risk students. A recent Texas Education Agency-commissioned study, "Best Practices in Dropout Prevention," indicated that CIS is one of just a few effective national models operating in Texas, and the only dropout program operating statewide that both increases graduation rates and decreases dropout rates. Further, by serving students at elementary, middle and high school, CIS assures early interventions and prevents later, costlier interventions.
Communities In Schools of North Texas operates in three distinct areas: dropout prevention programs, 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school programs, and dropout intervention programs. CISNT also leverages volunteer mentors in our schools. In the 2009-2010 academic school year, over 12,000 volunteers gave over 18,000 hours of volunteer service towards helping our children achieve academic success.
The national Communities In Schools office developed the Total Quality System to establish clear operational guidelines that ensure uniform quality and improved outcomes for all students being served by Communities In Schools affiliates. The TQS system is part of an organization wide commitment to evidence-based practice and the highest standards of accountability.
"We are proud to have achieved our accreditation as it underlies the value of falling in compliance with the high set of standards put in place by Communities In Schools," said Gary Henderson, CEO of Communities In Schools of North Texas.
Communities In Schools of North Texas is among the first to receive its national accreditation among the nearly 200 local affiliates that comprise the Communities In Schools network in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a school-based coordinator, Communities In Schools connects students and their families to critical community resources tailored to local needs. Working in nearly 3,300 schools in the most challenged communities, in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools serves more than 1.3 million young people and their families. It has become the nation's leading dropout prevention organization, and the only one proven to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates.
Visit our website at www.CISNT.org.