News Archives

  • Dan Cardinali and Sara Massey write Op-Ed for New Orleans Advocate

    Dan Cardinali, President of Communities In Schools, Inc. and Sara Massey, President of CIS of Greater New Orleans, call for Congress to recognize that innovation and proven best practices can align well in the pursuit of educating the nation's children. As Congress once again addresses the re-authorization of ESEA, the dominate national player in the field of integrated student supports has the data to support the inclusion of such programs in any bill that is passed.

  • COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS OF GREATER NEW ORLEANS TO EXPAND INTENSIVE STUDENT SUPPORTS TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH $300,000 FROM AT&T Contribution is part of the nearly $12.5 million AT&T Aspire local impact initiative supporting best-of-best organization a

  • CIS National Network Spring 2014 Impact Report Released

    Each spring, graduation marks a milestone in students’ lives: a recognition of discipline, endurance, achievement and of overcoming obstacles. For some students, the challenges are more than just academic.

    For more than 35 years, Communities In Schools (CIS) has been committed to both lowering dropout rates and increasing graduation rates. While other programs focus exclusively on academic needs, CIS is dedicated to the whole child, beyond the classroom. Whether a student needs a ride to school, mental health services or a much-needed meal, CIS connects them to administrators, staff and volunteers positioned to provide resources and services in order to help students stay in school and, ultimately, walk across the stage at their graduation. Thanks to CIS, there will be even more kids in caps and gowns this year, and each year forward.

    The Communities In Schools national office released today the consolidated national impact of the CIS network. The data reported in this brief highlights the effectiveness of CIS’s model of integrated student supports during the 2012 – 2013 school year. Click here to view the full report.

  • Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans Announces Contribution Towards Improvement in Graduation Rates in New Report Released Today

    TV Ads by Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Highlight
    Leading Reasons Why Kids Drop Out, Including
    Hunger, Homelessness, Lack of Medical Care

    As kids around the country are graduating, Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans – part of the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life – today released a report demonstrating the organization’s impact on reducing dropout rates. The report was released as part of a national public awareness campaign featuring young people from around the country who have graduated from high school as a result of their involvement with Communities In Schools.

    “Communities In Schools epitomizes the burning desire we all have to work together to help solve the problems our communities face. At the heart of any successful strategy is the need to insure that our children grow into educated, compassionate adults,” said Sara Massey, President of Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, in the new report, entitled Changing the Picture of Education in Greater New Orleans. “Because we are focused on solutions, we have the time to cultivate the resources, both local and national, that we can connect to that student and their family to help them overcome the obstacles. We bring the efficiency and expertise to solving problems so that school leaders can relieve teachers of this burden and focus on what they are good at- teaching.”

    Every 26 seconds, a young person in America drops out of school. When students drop out, they are more likely to end up in poverty, suffer poor health, be dependent on social services, enter the criminal justice system and cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year in lost revenue and increased spending on government assistance programs. To change the picture in New Orleans, Communities In Schools is serving approximately 4500 students on 12 campuses this year, working hand in hand with schools, communities, partner organizations and families to surround students with a strong network of support.

    According to the new report, Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans achieved the following during the 2012-13 school year:

    • Two elementary schools, four combined elementary/ middle schools and five high schools were served.
    • Approximately 3,575 students were served by Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans; 2411 of students received Level One supports (school-wide prevention services) and 1,164 of students received Level Two supports (targeted and sustained interventions).
    • 80 percent of the students in grades K-11 who received targeted and sustained interventions (and for whom data were available) were promoted to the next grade.

    The report also features interviews with Ms. Kevin Planchet, CIS Site Coordinator and Ms. Kelsey Lambrecht, a high school teacher working in a CIS school.

    To raise awareness about Communities In Schools, a public awareness campaign is running nationwide, featuring short videos by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris and photos by renowned photographer David Harriman. These videos and images are online at

    Changing the Picture of Education in Greater New Orleans is one of more than two dozen Communities In Schools reports being released around the country today in time for graduations.

    Click here to view the full report.

  • GiveNOLA-WOW!

    More kids will be surrounded with a community of support as a result of the outstanding response by friends and family of CIS. The Greater New Orleans Foundation led the community's first participation in the national Give Local campaign held in more than 75 cities on May 6. GNOF's efforts led to more than $2.2 million being raised for 309 nonprofits. CIS of Greater New Orleans was supported by 92 donors giving more than $42,000 through the GiveNOLA website or with checks that day. Officially, that placed CIS 9th among all organizations. On behalf of the 4500 students we are helping this year, thanks to the donors on this list!

  • CIS seeks Mentoring Coordinator

    CIS seeks a dynamic leader to join our team and lead the expansion of our CIS Mentoring Program! With two more years of funding committed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, CIS will seek to add 100 more mentoring relationship over the next two years. Go to the "Get Involved" page and then "Careers" to learn how to indicate your interest in joining the CIS team in this exciting capacity!

  • Child Trends Report Affirms the Effectiveness of Dropout Prevention Program

    Today, Child Trends, a national research nonprofit, released a new report affirming the effectiveness and cost efficiency of integrated student supports (ISS) programs like Communities In Schools (CIS) in improving education outcomes. These programs target both academic and non-academic barriers to achievement by identifying individual student needs and mobilizing community resources to meet them.

    “As the largest ISS provider in the Greater New Orleans area, we are very pleased to see that our student-centric program continues to prove effective in reducing dropout rates across the region,” said Sara Massey, president of Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans. “Our students have experienced firsthand the benefits of an integrated model, and it is important that state lawmakers address barriers to learning both inside and outside the classroom.”

    Key findings from Child Trends’ latest report, Integrated Student Supports: The Evidence, include:
    • ISS programs increase math achievement and student attendance and lower dropout rates;
    • Student-centric programs that focus on all aspects of students’ needs, both academic and non-academic, are more likely to be successful than ones that focus on single factors in isolation;
    • ISS programs are cost effective and yield a positive return on investment ranging from $4.39 to $14.80; and,
    • High-quality implementation is key to the effectiveness of these programs, while low-quality or partial implementation shows lower or no difference at all in effectiveness.

    The Report can be accessed by clicking below.

  • Amanda Schroeder to Present at National Mentoring

    Amanda Schroeder, LPC, NCC and Director of Student Services for High Schools, Mentoring and Americorps will speak at the 4th annual national mentoring summit this week in Washington DC. The National Mentoring Summit is convened by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and host committee members the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Harvard School of Public Health, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and United Way Worldwide. It is the signature event for the national mentoring movement that will bring together 700 participants including, practitioners, researchers, corporate partners, government and civic leaders, national youth-serving organizations and the network of Mentoring Partnerships in a forum to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities.

    The 2014 National Mentoring Summit theme is Mentoring Works focusing on how evidence-based quality mentoring relationships help young people succeed at home, in school and at work. Workshops and plenary sessions demonstrate the many ways in which mentoring works to support positive youth outcomes by showcasing innovative program models, emerging research, and the nuances across diverse youth populations.

    Amanda will speak about innovative strategies for mentoring high school youth, including CIS' partnership with the local office of the US Department of Agriculture to match students with professionals in the STEM fields. Access her powerpoint presentation by clicking the title to this article.

  • Two AmeriCorps Postions Open

    CIS seeks two highly motivated persons to serve as an AmeriCorps member for the 2013-14 school year. Click here to learn more and submit an application. Start date is August 15th.

  • CIS Seeks Director for "Champ Camp"

    CIS will be recommended for funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant program to establish CIS Champ Camp at three New Orleans area schools beginning with the 2013-14 school year. We seek a dynamic leader to join our team and lead the creation and implementation of our afterschool program! Go to the "Get Involved" page and then "Careers" to learn how to indicate your interest in joining the CIS team in this exciting capacity!

  • Ka'Nard Allen Fund To Close

    The fund established to benefit Ka'Nard Allen closed on Friday, May 24. Click the title of this article to learn of other ways you can direct your gift to support Ka'Nard and the other individuals injured in the Mother's Day Second Line shooting.

  • Ka'Nard Allen Fund Established

    Ka'Nard Allen is a student at Pride College Prep and was injured in the Mother's Day Second Line Parade in the 7th Ward. The school has asked CIS to establish a fund to receive donations for Ka'Nard's basic and emergency needs. Click above for more information or make a donation.

  • Notice of Intent to Apply

    Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans intends to submit a proposal in response to the State of Louisiana’s RFP #678PUR-21stCenturyCommunity for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers for the Louisiana Department of Education, which is scheduled to open at 2:00 p.m. (CDT) on March 25, 2013. The proposal will be available for review by the public at the organization's office from 2:00 pm Monday through 5:00pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

  • CIS Selected for NOLA FOR LIFE Funds

    NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that 23 local non-profit organizations have been awarded a total of $500,000 through the NOLA FOR LIFE Fund. The organizations were selected through a competitive process to identify local non-profit organizations that deliver high-quality programs and social services to young men most at risk of killing or being killed.

    “When we created the NOLA FOR LIFE plan, we knew that we had to take a holistic approach to stemming the violence that rips at the heart and soul of our city,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “These grants will help organizations already doing good work in our community provide new levels of support to our boys and young men. We’re asking these individuals to make a different choice, so we have to make sure that they have access to the critical social services that can help.”

    NOLA FOR LIFE is the Mayor's comprehensive initiative to eliminate the murder rate among 16-24 black youth. CIS plays an important role, for its work in five high schools includes programming and services that help these young men stay in school and build skills to help them succeed in school and life. More than 190 high school young men are currently benefiting from CIS services.

  • Alex McConduit Headlines First RIF Event of the Year

    Eisenhower Elementary students got into the "Who Dat!" spirit during Wednesday's Reading Is Fundamental book distribution, when local author, Alexander McConduit, read his book "The Little Who Dat Who Didn't". Alexander, a St. Augustine High School and Loyola University graduate, shared inspiring words about his personal journey of becoming a young author and encouraged Eisenhower students to pursue their dreams. The event concluded with every student choosing a book to add to their personal libraries. Many thanks to Alexander McConduit for helping to promote the joy of reading!

  • CIS On The Cover of the IMPACT Newsletter!

    Click here to check out Communities In Schools featured on the cover of the Greater New Orleans Foundation's IMPACT newsletter for Spring 2012. CIS is excited to house their Mrs. Margaret Wall Endowment Fund at GNOF with dollars matched through the Freeman Challenge.

  • The Economic Impact of Communities In Schools

    Communities In Schools contracted with EMSI to specify its economic and social returns to society through a rigorous third-party investment analysis.The purpose of this important next step is to quantify the return on investment of Communities In Schools’ 113 high school-serving affiliates in its network to taxpayers, businesses, and students. The analysis also shows the economic benefits when local affiliates go from implementing parts of the Communities In Schools model in some of their high schools to full implementation in all of their high schools.

  • Rube Goldberg Competition!

    CIS ScienceREACH students at Carver, Cohen, and Reed High Schools worked for a month on creating Rube Goldberg machines. Demonstrations of their machines were filmed and then judged on May 10th. Click to check out the video of the winning team, Carver High!

  • Parade of Books!

    Communities In Schools hosted their final Reading Is Fundamental event for the year at Habans Elementary. After their parade of books, each student was allowed to pick two brand new books to take home, along with a Summer Literacy Kit.

  • Sex Education Policy Approved and Implemented at Warren Easton

    CIS New Orleans has partnered with School Health Connections to facilitate the Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART) curriculum at Warren Easton in March 2012. BART is a group-level, education and skills training intervention designed to reduce sexual behaviors and improve safer sex skills among African Americans. The implementation of BART at Warren Easton is the first step in executing a comprehensive sex education policy.

  • NO BULL!

    Our AmeriCorps member, Jeanne Lowe, and her Mentee, Divine, who is a student at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy entered their video in "The Great American NO BULL Challenge". The NO BULL Challenge is the largest, youth-led national campaign in America's history to combat cyberbullying. Click the headline to help Divine get her video in the Top 12 by voting everyday!

  • CIS Partners With Lemonade Day

    "When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade!" Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate your own business – a lemonade stand. CIS is thrilled to be a sponsoring organization and we encourage all CIS students and friends to sign up to host a stand that day. Please contact Linzee Locke,, for more information.

  • Family Math Night on Pi Day (3.14) at Batiste

    CIS Greater New Orleans staff and AmeriCorps at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy helped to kick of the 1st Annual Family Math Night, which had 200 attendees!

  • Happy AmeriCorps Week!

    We salute all of our AmeriCorps members and their year of service with CIS Greater New Orleans! Thank you for all of your hard work!

  • Holistic Approach to Education Can Close Achievement Gap

    Closing the achievement gap is about more than just raising test scores, and it's a conversation the Morning Joe crew tackled head first this morning at Fort Lee High School in New Jersey. MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, Communities In Schools National Board Chair Elaine Wynn, and Telemundo's Nightly News anchor Jose Diaz-Balart joined Morning Joe to talk about the importance of addressing what happens in students' lives outside the classroom

  • CIS Announces Mentoring Initiative!

    Expanding youth mentoring in New Orleans has been a top priority for Communities In Schools. Through funding awarded by The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Capital One, we are excited to launch our new mentoring initiative. emPower Lunch is a lunchtime mentoring program that gives adult volunteers and youth the opportunity to engage in a mentoring relationship in a structured and safe school based environment.

  • CIS Staff Hosts Rummage Sale at Batiste Academy!

    Saturday, February 11th marked the first Rummage Sale Fundraiser for Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans (CIS) at ReNew’s Batiste Cultural Arts Academy. Click to read more about it!

  • MLK Day: A Day On, Not A Day Off!

    CIS Greater New Orleans AmeriCorps did not take the day off even though school was not in session. Click to read how they gave back to the community on MLK Day!

  • CIS Greater New Orleans Hosts Health Fair at Carver High School

    Communities in Schools put on a health fair at Carver High School for 50 students this past Wednesday afternoon. The health fair lasted 2 hours and showcased cyclist, Teddy Herrera, who is currently on a 22,000-mile tour to increase awareness of childhood obesity and encourage kids to get up and get moving.

  • RSD Announces New Enrollment Process!

    CIS New Orleans hosted a pre-release event for 50 community leaders, so that the Recovery School District could inform them of the new enrollment process. The hope is to begin engaging these leaders at an early stage, so they can help this project be a smooth transition for everyone. CIS New Orleans staff will receive specialized training from RSD in order to support the children in CIS New Orleans schools. Click above to read the press release.

  • What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

    Nonprofit Tech 2.0 compiled a list of 50 nonprofits that we should be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Communities In Schools made the list!

  • ScienceReach Student at Reed High School Performs an Experiment!

    Check out the video of Melvin Miller, a senior at Sarah T. Reed Senior High School working on his science project for Biology II. The project was to determine, "Why does soap make pepper run?"

  • Health Fair at Sarah T. Reed High School

    Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans attended a Health Fair at Sarah T. Reed High School. Click to read all about it!

  • Literacy Day at Habans Elementary

    Check out the article and fantastic pictures featured on about the Literacy Day at Habans Elementary that Communities In Schools helped to sponsor by providing brand new books for all PreK-2nd graders!

  • Tulane Students Teach Financial Literacy at Cohen High School

    This semester seven students from the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University have been serving at Cohen High School in New Orleans. Click to read more about what they have been doing!

  • Eisenhower Academy Hosts Family Literacy Night

    Click to read all about our first Reading Is Fundamental event of the school year!

  • Outreach Tulane Serves with CIS

    Tulane volunteers helped to spruce up Benjamin Mays Preparatory Academy this past Saturday during Outreach Tulane Service Day.

  • Meet Our New Site Coordinator, Annie Bachrach!

    Click to find out more about one of our new Site Coordinators, Annie Bachrach, who is at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy.

  • Meet our New Site Coordinator, Aden Burka!

    Click to read more about one of our newest site coordinators, Aden Burka, who is working at Fischer Accelerated Academy.

  • CIS Expands with Three New Site Coordinators!

    CIS Greater New Orleans hired three new site coordinators for their schools this year. We will be getting to know each of our new site coordinators in the coming days. Click to learn more about our first new site coordinator, Monique Aziz!

  • CIS Reaches Out to Adopt-A-Family Uniform Drive

    CIS Site Coordinator, Carroll Bernard, at SciTech Academy contacted Kevin Buckel that runs the Adopt-A-Family Uniform drive to ensure that none of her students will go without uniforms this school year. Click to read more about how Communities In Schools is connecting with community resources to ensure that New Orleans students do not drop out of school.

  • CIS Announces 15 New AmeriCorps Positions

    Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans was awarded 15 more AmeriCorps positions. We are very thankful to be able to host these AmeriCorps in our schools and with our various programs. The contribution that our AmeriCorps make to our organization and to the New Orleans community is priceless. Apply today to be part of the 2011-2011 CIS AmeriCorps group!

  • Riffington Visits Louisiana!

    The official mascot of Reading Is Fundamental, Riffington, visited Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans this past week. Together they went to visit the Macy*s stores in southern Louisiana.

  • LEGENDary Partnership For Communities In Schools!

    On Tuesday, Communities In Schools announced the launch of Give EDUCATION, a campaign with Procter & Gamble and Grammy award-winning musician John Legend. Together, we are working to raise awareness of America’s dropout crisis, and raise funds so that Communities In Schools can surround even more children with a community of support.

  • Become A CIS AmeriCorps Today!

    Positions are filling up fast! Apply to be an AmeriCorps today, so you can spend the year making a positive change in New Orleans students' lives. Contact Lindsay Finlayson ( for more details.

  • Macy*s Kicks Off Their RIF Campaign!

    Stop by your local Macy*s to support RIF and Communities In Schools between now and July 31. Help Louisiana children to receive free brand new books while you shop at your nearest Macy*s.

  • Many Helping Hands from Celebration Church

    Celebration Church helps Communities In Schools stuff Literacy Kits for all their students to take home for the summer.

  • IBM and CIS Team Up For A Service Day!

    On May 21, 2011, IBM joined forces with CIS to help them complete a service project at Lagniappe Academies in the Treme area. Over IBM volunteers showed up, completing over 90 hours of service!

  • It’s Time To Rock It!

    Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, Inc., ScienceREACH program held a rocket competition Saturday, May, 14th, 2011 at Sarah T. Reed High School. There were a total of 14 students that participated from Miller McCoy Academy, Sarah T. Reed High School, and Walter L. Cohen High School.

  • Middle Schoolers Donate Their Time To CIS

    Middle Schoolers from Sherman Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin gave their helping hands to CIS on May 2, 2011. After making a 17 hour bus ride, they woke up the next morning to help create the edible garden at Sarah T. Reed High School. The garden will allow a space to grow healthy food, a resource that is scarce in New Orleans East.


Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, Inc.
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