Parent Perspective – How CIS Made a Difference

For high school junior Drew Chase, a mood and anxiety disorder made traditional learning environments difficult for him to navigate. Though he had excelled in elementary school, Drew’s confidence, participation and grades had declined by high school.

All that changed when he transferred to the Kent Phoenix Academy, a non-traditional high school working in partnership with Communities In Schools of Kent to connect kids like Drew with the individualized resources they need to overcome all kinds of barriers to learning.

Drew especially appreciates his mentor. “Miss Kim [the site coordinator] got me to Tom,” said Drew. “He helps me set goals in school and talks to me about college and work.”

Now he’s much more positive, maintains a higher GPA, and is having better peer interactions. I didn’t even know programs like this existed before.

Drew’s mother, Mary Ann Clayton, said it’s been beneficial to have someone helping Drew manage his mood and anxiety issues at school, whether it’s seeing a therapist right on site or taking breaks from the classroom when these issues get in the way of learning.

“Communities In Schools has given Drew the support he needs,” said Mary Ann. “Now he’s much more positive, maintains a higher GPA, and is having better peer interactions. I didn’t even know programs like this existed before. I wish more students had these opportunities.”