Teacher Poll Found Communities In Schools a Successful Solution to Removing Barriers to Student Success

Washington, June 8, 2015 – Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s leading organization dedicated to keeping students in school, recently partnered with Public Opinion Strategies to conduct a poll of over 700 educators across the U.S. Researchers found that poverty has a major effect on student success as well as educator time and resources. The consensus of teachers polled was that many schools are in need of dedicated professionals trained to connect students to community resources.

Barriers to Student Success
While most educators are satisfied with their local schools, 88% acknowledged the difficulties caused by poverty and its effects on student success.

Researchers found that poverty is often manifested in other areas such as disruptive behavior, chronic absenteeism, and poor student health. Students in poverty may also have difficulties focusing in class which will affect their grades and future success.

In addition, many teachers are using their own time and resources to help students with non-educational issues. The poll indicated; on average teachers spend 20% of their time helping students address problems outside the classroom. The time and resources teachers pour into non-educational aid for students can reduce their ability to address the needs of the whole class.

Researchers also found:

  •  91% of teachers spend their own money on supplies.
  •  51% of teachers have used their own money to help feed students.
  •  52% of teachers have helped a student and/or their family through a crisis.

Polled educators almost unanimously agreed that the solution to addressing such challenges is a trained and dedicated person to work with these students and their families. In fact, 94% teachers favored bringing dedicated staff into schools from the local community to provide support to students and families with the greatest needs.

A Successful Model
Communities In Schools has been providing integrated student supports to school districts across the U.S. for nearly 40 years. Of teachers polled, 80% of those with CIS programs in their districts believed that Communities In Schools has positively impacted student success in their district.

CIS is a national network of affiliates working in schools across 25 states to move students towards graduation and help them achieve in life. Last year CIS affiliates collectively provided services to over 1.5 million students with 154,000 receiving individualized services and partnered with 2,350 schools and community-based sites.

CIS Washington
In Washington State, CIS of Washington has provided services to over 63,000 students (with over 4,000 receiving individualized services). Of secondary students served individually, 99.6% stayed in school. With 12 affiliates serving students across the state, CIS of Washington is expected to provide an additional 9,000 students with integrated student supports in the upcoming year.