CIS Students Achieve a 90% Graduation Rate for the 2019-2020 School Year

For students receiving case management, the organization’s most intensive intervention, the figure is 6 percent higher than statewide average; model shown to significantly close opportunity gaps for students living in poverty and students of color

LAS VEGAS, NEV.Communities In Schools of Nevada (CIS), the fifth largest state office of the nation’s leading evidence-based dropout prevention organization with affiliate offices in the Clark, Elko, Humboldt and Washoe County school districts, celebrates its students for achieving a 90 percent graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, a six percent lead compared to the statewide average graduation rate of 84 percent. The previous academic year, 2018-2019, CIS celebrated a 94% graduation rate before the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of school buildings, which further exacerbated inequities for the students the organization serves.

The measurement is focused on the nearly 500 high school seniors that CIS case manages, their most intensive intervention, who are experiencing adverse circumstances including poverty, many of whom are of color and are at the intersection of their socioeconomic status and other systemic issues of racism. The organization case manages a total of 6,500 students in grades K-12 and serves more than 75,000 in 75 schools across Nevada.

“Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing our students, supported by our site coordinators, put in the work to earn their diplomas,” said Tami Hance-Lehr, CEO, Communities in Schools of Nevada. “The data show that when we meet students’ needs they succeed. Imagine the possibilities if every Title I school in Nevada had access to wraparound services and a trusted and caring adult on campus devoted to removing barriers to student success. We’d unlock so much more potential and see the state achieve its mission of ensuring every student graduates college, career, and community ready. Communities In Schools stands ready to be that partner.”

The data also reveal that CIS of Nevada’s students of color, who account for close to 90% of those they case manage and are at the heart of the organization’s equity focus, also graduated in higher numbers than students of color statewide not enrolled in the CIS program. The full graduation subgroup data is below:

  • The 223 Hispanic high school seniors that CIS case manages statewide achieved a 90.1 percent graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, compared to the 81.3 percent average graduation rate for Hispanic students statewide, which is 8.8 percent higher
  • The 131 African American high school seniors that CIS case manages statewide achieved an 87 percent graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, compared to the 69.5 percent average graduation rate for African American students statewide, which is 17.5 percent higher
  • The 83 Multi-Racial high school seniors that CIS case manages statewide achieved a 92.8 percent graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, compared to the 85 percent average graduation rate for Multi-Racial students statewide, which is 7.8 percent higher
  • The 45 white students that CIS case manages statewide achieved a 91.1 percent graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year, compared to the 86.4 percent average graduation rate for white students statewide, which is 4.7 percent higher

CIS places full-time site coordinators in schools across four rural and urban school districts statewide to serve 75,000 Nevada students at 75 high-needs schools. The overwhelming majority of those students come from low-income families, qualifying for free or reduced lunch (FRL). These students are identified as being highly vulnerable to dropping out and are disproportionately impacted by conditions such as hunger, homelessness, emotional trauma and lack of access to basic healthcare, to name a few. CIS of Nevada site coordinators build one-on-one relationships with their case-managed students and identify their needs – from food, housing, medical, dental, counseling and beyond – tapping into a network of more than 100 community partners to meet those needs that remove barriers to learning.

“And while we celebrate this milestone, I am reminded there are still thousands of students statewide who need more support. CIS of Nevada is now in 75 schools statewide, but with hundreds of Title I schools in districts across the Silver State, there is much work to be done to provide students access to our caring site coordinators and the services offered through our community partners. Our program has been proven to give students the best chance at graduating and succeeding in life beyond high school,” said Hance-Lehr.

The work of CIS is critical given that Nevada ranks 47th in the nation for education, a statistic that should alarm all Nevadans. Students who are hungry, sick, anxious, bullied or troubled, may be too overwhelmed to learn, leading to failure in the classroom and eventually dropping out. CIS literally brings the community into schools to provide students with the services and resources they need to alleviate outside pressures and encourage them to stay in school. CIS’ long-term vision is for every child enrolled in a Title I School to have access to a site coordinator and an Integrated Systems Support. For more information on CIS of Nevada, visit http://cisnevada.org/.