City of Las Vegas and Clark County School District Partner
with Communities In Schools and Others to “ReInvent” Schools
Communities In Schools’ evidence-based model to serve as
barometer of success in the urban corridor of Clark County School District
Communities In Schools (CIS) of Nevada has formed a unique partnership with the Clark County School District (CCSD) and the City of Las Vegas to help bring together their services, with the existing services of Las Vegas Downtown Achieves and My Brother’s Keeper, into full-service community schools. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, funding was approved by the City of Las Vegas to move forward with the plan.
“This is an all-important and critical time for educating our youth in Las Vegas,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “We must come together to build programs that work for all in a meaningful and positive way.”
Four elementary schools – J.T. McWilliams, Wendell P. Williams, Matt Kelly and Hollingsworth– have been dubbed “ReInvent Schools” and are the focus of this model where students, their families and the community can best be served by the wraparound services provided by these community organizations. Launched at the start of the 2016-17 school year, the initiative will focus on academic achievement, expanded learning, wraparound services and family and community engagement, with a plan to scale the model into additional underperforming urban core schools.
“We pride ourselves not only on the work that we do for the vulnerable student population here in Clark County, but the benefit our students’ success has on our community,” said Cheri Ward, executive director of CIS of Southern Nevada. “The impact that a student who feels empowered to stay in school and achieve in the classroom can have on his or her community is a powerful thing.”
CIS of Nevada provides wraparound services for nearly 60,000 students statewide and 47,800 students in Clark County alone. Recognizing that dropout prevention begins in early education, CIS of Southern Nevada currently operates in 34 elementary schools. They are also in five middle schools and eight high schools. From tutoring and class work assistance, to weekend nutrition and hygiene resources, CIS of Nevada focuses on individualized solutions to mitigate the effects of poverty that hinder a student’s ability to succeed on their path to graduation.
“The Clark County School District is so grateful to work with community partners, as it takes the assistance and dedication of all to build success,” said CCSD Chief Student Achievement Officer Dr. Mike Barton.
My Brother’s Keeper takes a collective impact approach to changing community conditions and empowering youth of color, with an emphasis on African-American boys. An initiative brought forward by President Barack Obama, Las Vegas adopted the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge on Nov. 10, 2014, with Mayor Carolyn Goodman leading the charge.
Las Vegas Downtown Achieves seeks to improve conditions for students through collective community action so that all students are able to reach their full potential.
CIS of Nevada has been serving Nevada as the state affiliate of the nation’s leading and most effective dropout prevention and intervention program for more than 12 years. News of the CCSD graduation rate reaching 74.2 percent – in a year that saw its largest graduating class of 17,491 students – demonstrates great progress and is evidence of the value of early intervention services for the most at-risk students of Clark County. Many students attend schools with similar economic barriers to those at the newly-approved ReInvent Schools.
The CCSD graduation rate is up 2.1 percent from 2015 and a full 4.3 percent from the 70.9 percent rate in 2014. The graduation rate for students provided with wraparound support services from CIS of Nevada has remained steadily between 83 and 87 percent during that same time period. CIS of Nevada’s evidence-based model continues to be used as a prototype for districts across the nation implementing integrated student services as a means to bolster their own educational outcomes.
For more information on CIS of Nevada, please visit www.cisnevada.org.
About Communities In Schools of Nevada
Communities In Schools (CIS) of Nevada is the local affiliate of the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Working with both schools and the surrounding community, CIS of Nevada does whatever it takes to help kids stay in school and succeed in life. Based directly inside schools, CIS of Nevada connects students and their families to basic and critical educational and community-based resources, tailored to each student’s specific needs.
Operating in 59 school sites in Western Nevada, Southern Nevada, and Northeastern Nevada, CIS of Nevada serves over 58,000 students. Nationally, CIS provides services in more than 2,200 schools in 26 states and the District of Columbia, serving 1.3 million young people and their families every year. As the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, CIS is the only program proven to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates. For more information, please see our website http://www.cisnevada.org.