Communities In Schools focuses on meeting the unique needs of students and schools in their local communities, while participating in a strong national and statewide network with a long history of working to keep kids in school.
The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable.
From this grassroots beginning, Communities In Schools grew into the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, now in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
Communities In Schools began operating in Washington in 1991 at the urging of Boeing, Costco and other business and education leaders. They were concerned about the burden on public schools, which were increasingly expected to provide for the basic needs of students in addition to education.
Communities In Schools offered a solution with its comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective strategy, as well as evidence of success in other parts of the country. With support from major employers, Communities In Schools of Washington took root and now operates in 20 school districts statewide.
Communities In Schools of Renton (CISR) was formed out of the common vision of many individuals to bring the community together to help kids. After several years of hard work, research and planning by representatives of the Renton School District and the City of Renton, along with other community members, the organization hired their first director in 1994 and began offering services to children and their families with the Family Liaison Program.
The program originally operated as a local program under Communities In Schools of Washington (known then as Cities in Schools). In 1995, Communities In Schools of Renton obtained its own 501 (c)(3) status.
Today CISR is a nationally accredited affiliate providing a wide range of services to over 7,000 students in 12 Renton schools.