Mission: Communities in schools of central texas (cisct) provides services to at-risk students in over 50 public schools throughout central texas. Cisct maintains an office on each school campus providing full-time, year-round services, assuring that young people have access to the support needed to overcome personal obstacles which interfere with their education.
Programs: Communities in schools of central texas (cisct) provides students, pre-k through 12th grade, with a wide range of support services, including basic needs assistance, counseling, academic support, mentors, enrichment activities and leadership skill-building. Cisct services are located within four counties and in five school districts (rural and urban). By offering individualized support, cisct enables students to focus on their school work and progress towards graduation. Cisct serves students struggling with their academics, behavior or attendance and targets the services to the specific needs of each individual student. Additional services to students and family members include crisis, short-term, and preventive services. While cisct provides primarily non-academic assistance, we strictly measure school outcomes as drawn from report cards and teacher feedback. For the year, 92% of the students served intensively by cisct were promoted to the next grade, 85% improved their attendance, grades or behavior and 99% completed the school year. These are remarkable statistics, given that cisct is serving the most at-risk students in very high-needs schools. The power of the cisct model comes from three factors; first, each of the campus programs is staffed by a social service professional (generally an lcsw or lpc) who establishes programming to meet the particular needs of the students at that school; second, a close relationship with each school ensures that cisct works closely with faculty and administration as partners for student success; third, the staff leverages the resources of the community to efficiently and effectively serve as many students as possible. Cisct has also developed unique prevention programming in the belief that student populations with particularly high risk factors must be served in a proactive fashion. Cisct offers four highly effective prevention programs to the community. (1) the pebble project is a classroom-based child abuse prevention program offered at 40 elementary schools. Evaluation indicates that children who participate gain and retain skills to avoid becoming a victim of bullying and abuse. (2) aspire is an award-winning family literacy program incorporating adult education, parenting and a language-rich early childhood environment. Evaluation shows that the children of those families that participate for a year or more are significantly more likely to pass the state accountability exams when they enter elementary school. (3) the smartkids program is an afterschool academic support and enrichment program located in public housing properties serving over 500 children a year. Most of these children also receive case management support from cisct at school as well. 87% of the children cisct serves who live in public housing improve their grades, attendance or behavior after receiving our services. (4) the xy zone is a peer support and leadership development program targeting young men in ten high schools. The curriculum and activities are based on core values of respect, responsibility, relationships, role modeling and reaching out and participants have had extraordinary success in reducing risk-taking behaviors, improving school results and giving back to their communities.