Community Partnerships

When community organizations are in schools, they are in good company as a CIS of Chicago partner. From museums and performance groups, to health education and college-readiness programs, these organizations can rely on our CIS of Chicago community partner specialists to connect them to classrooms and auditoriums filled with students ready to receive what they can offer.

In service to community partners, our specialists wear several hats: they are researchers 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 to support students, at no cost to the students or schools.

Our community partners play a vital role in supporting students’ academic and social and emotional success. They provide students 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 classrooms. 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 at CIS of Chicago

During the 2017-2018 school year, there were 214 community organizations in the CIS of Chicago network, and their work focused in four key areas: the arts; behavioral and mental health; college and career readiness; and health and wellness. They delivered 2,231 programs and services to the CIS network, meeting schools’ priorities for student needs and helping to serve 71,796 students.