Communities in Schools Achieves National Accreditation

Communities In Schools of Nassau County Recognized by School Board For National Accreditation

Communities in Schools Achieves National AccreditationPhoto: Members of the Board of Directors of Communities in Schools of Nassau County accepting a certificate of recognition from The Nassau County School Board for achieving National CIS Accreditation. Board Members present were (left to right): Phyllis Helmes, Matthew Millar, Susan Milana, CIS-Nassau County Executive Director, Dr. Barry Campbell, Chairman of the CIS-Board of Directors, Dr. John Ruis, Superintendant of Nassau County Schools, Sue Nelson and Gail Cook.

Fernandina Beach, FL – Communities In Schools of Nassau County, a nonprofit 501(c)3 was recognized this week by the Nassau County School Board for achieving the highest standard of National Accreditation by Communities In Schools. CIS Nassau is the first affiliate in Florida along with CIS Miami to receive national accreditation and in the first 25 among the nearly 200 local affiliates that comprise the Communities In Schools network across the US.

Nassau County Superintendent of Schools John Ruis said, “Communities In Schools (CIS) enables us to work across boundaries, some real and some imagined, to help children be successful. The leadership of CIS is relentless about results and tireless in its efforts to develop partnerships that engage the community.”

The TQS (Training Quality 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 TQS system is part of an organization wide commitment to evidence-based practice and the highest standards of accountability. 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, a crucial predictor of high school graduation.

CIS Nassau Students Achieve Results

Last year alone…

62% referred for attendance issues improved
80% referred for behavior issues improved
55% improved a full grade level in at least one core subject
74% improved and/or achieved grade level on FCAT Math
70% improved and/or achieved grade level on FCAT Reading
98.5% promoted to the next grade
97.7% age 16 or older stayed in school

CIS Nassau currently provides case management and intensive services to 500-700 students annually at county middle and high schools. Over 3,000 additional teens receive large group, short-term or referral services each year through CIS based on needs targeted by school principals. The number of schools and children served by CIS are limited only by available resources.

Schools can’t do it alone. Students are referred to CIS because they are at-risk for any number of reasons and are often performing below grade level and/or economically disadvantaged. They may be faced with an ongoing challenge, or be affected by more recent circumstances. A CIS coordinator partners with, and supports the student and their family, and works with school professionals and outside resources to deliver and/or connect needed services. Instead of losing their path to a productive future, or falling through the cracks, they are set on a course toward achieving in life… and we all benefit.

“We are committed to providing a high level of service to our schools and our students. Similarly, we are proud of and grateful for the hard work of our staff, volunteers and partners that makes our mission possible every day. We hope you will join us in celebrating this accomplishment you have helped us achieve and re-dedicating ourselves to serving even more children in need in our community.” Stated Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Barry Campbell.

CIS services in Nassau County are made possible through the support and partnership of The Nassau County School Board, The Jaguar’s Foundation, The United Way and families and businesses throughout our community.

For more information about CIS Nassau, contact Susan Milana, executive director 904-321-200 or visit our website at

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