Community Partnerships

When community organizations are in schools, they are in good company as a CIS of Chicago partner. Our partners include everything from licensed therapists in private practice and dedicated health educators to museums and cultural institutions that make our city great. These organizations can rely on our CIS of Chicago community partnership specialists to connect them with students.

In service to community partners, our specialists wear several hats. They are detectives who scout for services or education programs that address student need. They are facilitators who offer professional development on navigating classroom management, curriculum fidelity, and more. They are allies who lend their eyes and ears to observe school-based programs and offer instructional feedback to improve connections with students. And they are managers who nurture the working relationships between a school community and those welcomed inside a building.

They wear these hats, but assign the hero hat to the community partners themselves, who agree to collaborate with CIS of Chicago to support students, at no cost to the students or schools.

Our community partners play a vital role in supporting students’ academic and social-emotional success. They provide students with exposure to the arts, teach them how to be safe in an emergency, offer glimpses into their future careers, and provide supports to grieving students. They tailor their programming to the culture of the school and unique needs of the classroom. They collaborate with school leaders - and other community partners - to provide the classroom program, performance, health service, or field trip that will propel students in their learning. We all want to see students graduate high school ready for success, and our community partners are out there every day as allies to Chicago’s students.

... Karen Roddie, Senior Community Partnership Specialist

During the 2018-2019 school year, there were 193 community organizations in the CIS of Chicago network, and their work focused in four key areas: behavioral and mental health, the arts, college and career readiness, and health and wellness. They delivered 1,745 programs and services to the CIS network, meeting schools’ priorities for student needs and helping to serve 70,245 students.