top of page
Research & Case Studies
Coping with Crises

We must support students as best we can in the wake of tragedy. It is important  to talk to children about

what they are seeing and hearing, even when they did not directly witness the event. While it can be

difficult to know what to say, evidence from research and clinical practice can help us with these difficult conversations. Child Trends recently released this resource report for helping adults care for students

affected by shootings.


The 2018 Community Matters Report outlines the accomplishments of Communities In Schools (CIS) during the 2016-2017 school year with a focus on chronic absenteeism. It includes data on the percentage of students who were promoted from one grade to another, graduated from high school or otherwise improved their performance. It also includes projections for how CIS is serving more students in the current school year to ensure even more kids receive their diplomas. 

The Economic Impact

In May 2012, CIS released the results of an economic impact study conducted by EMSI, one of the nation's leading economic modeling firms. The purpose of the study was to quantify the return on investment of CIS' 113 high school-serving affiliates in its network to taxpayers, businesses and students. The findings included that every dollar invested in CIS creates $11.60 of economic benefit for the community.

College and Career Readiness

new analysis  from the Department of Education focuses on a survey of over 20,000 high school students. The survey, which asked students to reflect on who had the most influence over their college and career
plans, showed that family members were overall the most influential. When comparing students based on socioeconomic status, "low-SES students reported more often than high-SES students that teachers or counselors were their main influence". This suggest that CIS site coordinators working with low-SES
students have an opportunity to both engage family members in the discussion about career and college options and to work proactively with their students on planning for their futures. 

Social-Emotional Learning

An interim report from the Aspen Institute's National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development highlights initial findings and reflections from the Commission. The authors emphasize the importance of understanding and providing for community needs, writing, "Local communities need to shape
and drive the process of comprehensively supporting students. There’s no single, one-size-fits-all approach to social, emotional, and academic development." CIS works with communities to bring appropriate SEL resources into the schools.


The Brookings Institution has published a report  on the impacts of trauma on student achievement. The report,
which is based on research conducted on elementary school students in Michigan, notes that "[early] childhood maltreatment is associated with significantly lower academic outcomes, even after we control for school, neighborhood, race and other key demographics." The authors state that, "child abuse and neglect cannot
simply be treated like a secondary issue, but must be a central concern of school personnel."  

Long-Term Outcomes

Research in JAMA Pediatrics explores the link between early childhood education and long-term outcomes. The authors discuss a study conducted on over 1000 low-income students who participated in the Child-Parent Center Program. Participants in the program completed more postsecondary education. According to the authors, "This study indicates that  an established early and continuing intervention is associated with higher midlife postsecondary attainment."


In interviews conducted during site visits between 2011 and 2013, CIS affiliate stakeholders overwhelmingly cited poverty as the most significant problem for the communities they served. Click below to take a look at current trends in poverty, discussions on why understanding poverty is important and ideas on how CIS can help alleviate poverty in the United States.

The Impact of the CIS Model

Communities In Schools is a learning organization committed to ongoing use of data and research to improve practice and drive positive outcomes for the schools and students it serves. This commitment is apparent
as CIS uses evaluation results to determine changes to the Total Quality System and other aspects of programming to strengthen support for at-risk students and ensure evidence-based programs are
at the root of CIS services.

bottom of page