We are excited to report that during the 2017-2018 school year, we successfully connected 2,231 services and programs to 71,796 Chicago public school students through partnership with 214 community partners.
CIS of Chicago placed full-time master’s level professionals, called Student Supports Managers, at 10 schools in 2017-2018 to provide intensive support to students most at risk of dropout or grade failure. (In 2018-2019, that number has increased to 20 CPS schools.) Last year, 460 targeted students in grades K-12 received intensive, case-management and counseling from our Supports Managers. Of those students, 95 percent were either promoted or graduated.
In 2017-2018, our volunteer program continued to provide students meaningful experiences to be mentored by caring, trusted adults and hone their interests about college and future careers. In addition, 2017-2018 saw the launch of our STEMpathy program. The program, inspired by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s idea that the good jobs of the future will require students to be STEM-proficient and possess strong interpersonal skills, provides students opportunities to become collaborative problem solvers by participating in hands-on science projects.
We also provided training to 128 community partners, covering such topics as classroom management, program evaluation and trauma-informed teaching. The 2017-2018 school year also was marked by several school visits, and events by our board of directors.
When we say that we are the dropout prevention program that works, it’s with a great deal of confidence.
A 2015 gold-standard evaluation of our work confirmed that our work positively impacts students’ course performance – two proven factors for predicting whether a student will stay on track to graduate. This two-year study, led by Professor David Figlio of Northwestern University, yielded diamond-hard evidence that our programs help students be successful. Specifically, our partnership program of connecting non-academic support programs and services to elementary schools improves student achievement in math and reading. Research shows these are leading indicators for high school graduation.
Further, our intensive support (case management and counseling) to students is equally effective. Among students deemed at risk of dropping out during the 2017-2018 school year, 95 percent graduated or were promoted and less than 1 percent dropped out.
In the 2018-2019 school year, CIS of Chicago is working within 20 schools to provide intensive support to students most at risk of dropout or grade failure.