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Intensive Program

When a student has low attendance, poor grades, or disruptive behavior, there is rarely one thing driving the student’s challenges. That’s why Communities In Schools of Chicago surrounds students with a community of support, and an array of resources, to empower them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Our Intensive Program embeds 30 master’s level professionals, or Student Supports Managers, at schools to provide intensive support for students at risk of failure or dropout. Each Student Supports Manager is responsible for a caseload of about 50 students, and they work with these students to create a plan and provide them with direct supports, like individual or group counseling.

Student Supports Managers help students develop the skills and access the resources they need to make progress on their plans. They also connect students with community partners, as necessary, to provide them with other resources, including enrichment opportunities and academic support, that the students need to reach their full potential.

Student Supports Managers collaborate with teachers and other school staff, and they are responsible for liaising with the school as well. They connect the entire student body to CIS of Chicago’s network of community partners, based on the school’s needs. Services provided by these partners come at no cost to the students or the school and focus on four key areas: arts enrichment, behavioral and mental health, college and career readiness, and physical health and wellness.

Of the more than 3,000 students we have supported in this way between 2009 and 2020, the following results occurred (within the year that our team worked with those students):


of students graduated or were promoted to the next grade.
Fewer than


of students dropped out.

Together For Students

In 2018, Communities In Schools of Chicago was awarded a grant to become an active collaborator in the Together for Students initiative. Together for Students focuses on giving Chicago students access to engaging learning opportunities that enable them to develop the critical social and emotional learning (SEL) skills they need to succeed.

In Chicago, the initiative brings together three organizations – Communities In Schools of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and Thrive Chicago. This partnership works on creating a professional development model for integrating social-emotional learning, both inside and outside the classroom, and convenes a social-emotional learning community to co-design, test, and scale different SEL strategies.

In the 2019-20 school year, Together for Students supported the social-emotional learning of close to 40,000 youth and provided professional development and resources in 42 schools across 28 neighborhoods. Before COVID-19, Together for Students convened and participated in in-person panel sessions and trainings, and once the stay-at-home order was in place, the initiative shifted to hosting virtual trainings and offering online resources, like e-newsletters and digital resource lists.

If you’d like to learn more about Together for Students, contact Adenia Linker at

Freshmen Rising Initiative

CIS of Chicago currently embeds seven Student Supports Managers at multiple high schools across the city. In 2020-21, our team is increasing its support for incoming high school students by launching a new Freshmen Rising initiative to serve even more ninth graders in this critical year. This initiative will support 75 ninth graders who need extra support from caring adults to successfully transition from elementary school to high school.

Students enrolled in the initiative will receive ongoing guidance and structured lessons to build their social-emotional learning skills. Research shows that if students are academically and socially on track in ninth grade, their odds of graduating improve significantly.

If you’d like to learn more about the Freshmen Rising initiative, contact Brian Broccolo at

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.