In Washington, we are proud to be part of a strong statewide network and a national network of Communities In Schools.
The story of Communities In Schools begins in the 1970s. A youth advocate in New York named Bill Milliken came up with the idea to bring community resources directly into schools. By connecting students with caring adults and community resources, Communities In Schools supported students to learn, grow, and thrive. Our service model of site coordination and case management is based on Bill’s original principle: Programs don’t change kids—relationships do.
From this grassroots beginning, Communities In Schools grew into the nation’s leading provider of Integrated Student Supports. Our national network now serves 25 states and the District of Columbia.
Our Washington Affiliate Network
Communities In Schools began operating in Washington in 1991 at the urging of business and education leaders. In the 1990s, schools were increasingly burdened to provide for students’ basic needs outside of the classroom, which impacted the quality of students’ education. Communities In Schools offered a coordinated solution that leveraged community partnerships and showed demonstrated success elsewhere in the country. With support from major employers, Communities In Schools took root along the I-5 corridor and has since taken off in communities across the state.
Our Washington network includes the state office and 11 independent, local affiliates serving these communities: Benton-Franklin, Federal Way-Highline, Kent, Lakewood, North Central Washington, Peninsula, Puyallup, Renton-Tukwila, Seattle, Spokane County, Tacoma and Whatcom-Skagit. The state office is also incubating a developing affiliate in North Central Washington. In fall 2021, the state office will be launching affiliates and CIS programs in Yakima, Walla Walla, and rural eastern and central Washington.
About the State Office
At the state office, we exist to support the efforts of our local, independent affiliates. We help build their organizational capacity so that they can serve students with quality, sustainability, and growth.
- Organizational Health: We support our affiliates to operate strong agencies using sound business practices, led by well-trained and supported executive directors and boards.
- Service Delivery Impact: By focusing on fidelity to our national service model, we help affiliates adapt the CIS model on a local scale and use data to inform student case management.
- Network Resource Development: We cultivate high-level resources across the state and ensure that affiliates have a range of tools to do effective local fundraising.
- Statewide Partnerships and Coalitions: Together with other statewide organizations and businesses, we increase the visibility and impact of youth development work.
- Expand the Reach of CIS: We engage school districts to bring integrated student supports to new communities across the state.