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 26 school districts statewide.
Communities In Schools of Kent (CISK) started in 1991. It was originally named Kent Community Council for At-Risk Children and Youth and then Community Council for Youth. From our inception, the organization has acted as a forum to bring together a variety of service providers, school district and local government personnel to work on behalf of the birth through 19 population in the Kent School District.
Through the dedication of board members, staff and community leaders, services continued to develop. Administration was transferred to Kent Youth and Family Services. Strong partnerships with Kent Youth and Family Services, the Kent School District, Kent Parks, and other community organizations continue to this day. Communities In Schools of Kent has now been its own 501(c)3 organization for many years. Its presence in the community has grown to serve 15 schools and over 6,000 students per year.