Friday, December 3, 2010

Communities In Schools of Laurens County Achieves National Accreditation

/PRNewswire/ -- Communities In Schools of Laurens County, a youth serving organization that provides school-based and after-school programs for students and the families served, has achieved National Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with all Communities In Schools Total Quality System (TQS) standards.

The TQS standards define expectations for effective non-profit business practices and for implementing the Communities In Schools model of integrated student support services at school sites. The site standards are based on a five-year, longitudinal national evaluation conducted by an independent, outside evaluator that documented the impact of the Communities In Schools model. The evaluation revealed that schools implementing the Communities In Schools model with high fidelity had higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and performed better than comparison schools in increasing the percentage of students meeting or exceeding math and reading proficiency in 4th and 8th grades, a crucial predictor of high school graduation.

Key initiatives in CIS of Laurens County include the Certified Literate Community Program, Reading Is Fundamental, AmeriCorps Reading Tutorial Program, Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA), The Loft Teen Center, Youth Excelling and Succeeding Program, and a CIS Performance Learning Center (PLC) that provides another learning option for high school students who are not succeeding the traditional school setting.

Communities In Schools developed the Total Quality System to establish clear operational guidelines that ensure uniform quality and improved outcomes for all students being served by Communities In Schools affiliates. The TQS system is part of an organization-wide commitment to evidence-based practice and the highest standards of accountability.

"We are proud to have achieved our accreditation as it underlies the value of complying with the high set of standards put in place by Communities In Schools National," said Jackie Curtis, CIS Executive Director of Laurens County.

Communities In Schools of Laurens County is among the first to receive its national accreditation among the nearly 200 local affiliates that comprise the Communities In Schools network in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Communities In Schools surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS partners with local school districts and community organizations to connect needed resources and services to kids and families. In Georgia, 41 CIS local affiliates and 19 Performance Learning Centers® (PLCs) provide services to more than 130,000 students in 54 school districts. Key initiatives include mentoring, parent education, tutoring, literacy, after-school programs, youth leadership, and PLCs. Communities sponsoring CIS programs have seen an increase in their school graduation rates, a decrease in violence and disruptions, and an increase in attendance and academic achievement. For more information, visit www.cislc.org or call 478-274-0394.

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