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Ensuring Every Child Achieves

When a student has to worry about their next meal, they are not likely going to think about their next test or grades. When a student has to worry about having a clean set of clothes, they are not likely going to think about going to school and classes. Instead, that student likely has their priorities and mind focused elsewhere.

According to End Poverty Durham, 28% of the Durham’s youth live below the Federal Poverty Level. The need to address student achievement has evolved beyond the perimeters of the traditional teacher’s classroom and has become an issue that requires the attention of the community.

On July 16, the Every Child Achieves Act, an overhaul on No Child Left Behind, passed the Senate. Currently, the bill is being reconciled in conference between the Senate and House versions, ECAA and Student Success Act, respectively. At present, the Senate bill adequately addresses the needs to students and CIS of Durham greatly benefits from the bill prioritizing wrap-around services and evidence-based practices included in Title I.

“If the ECAA passes through the House in the same vehicle passed by the senate, local affiliates could see opportunities to apply for grand funding to expand their programs,” says Jill Cox, Vice President of Communications for CIS of North Carolina. “Also, provide life-changing impact to students in North Carolina. Additionally it further support efforts across North Carolina to drive quality programing into schools for the benefit of students.”

The primary model for Communities In Schools is wrap-around intervention for vulnerable youth from elementary to high schools. CIS adapts its approach for each school district, but the focus every time is ensuring that students succeed not just in school but also in life.

CIS of Durham practices the Integrated Student Support Model, an evidence-based model designed to close education achievement gaps and improve opportunities. This model combines the work of an on-site coordinator, known as our Graduation or Success Coach, with the collaborative efforts of family engagement, academic assistance, and community outreach to ensure student success.

If the bill were to pass the Senate, CIS of Durham would expect fewer roadblocks to use Title I funding for wraparound services by specifically stating that is allowable use.

The bill represents the best opportunity for addressing the needs of students by not only tackling poverty but also closing the achievement gap by increasing resources to organizations like Communities In Schools that focus on evidence-based intervention.

According to the annual report by the State Board of Education, 43.2% of students statewide drop out because of attendance in 2013-2014. In Durham, 81% of CIS of Durham students saw improved attendance and 92.9% of eligible CIS seniors in Durham graduated in 2014. Results have shown that CIS of Durham evidence-based approach effectively blunts the effects of poverty and helps students succeed.

The current ECAA enables and encourages principals and teachers to provide the necessary wrap-around services that give them the resources and flexibility to do their work successfully and efficiently.

Join us in asking Congress to support wrap-around services in schools in the Every Child Achieves Act. Send a letter to your congressional representative, asking them to support evidence-based intervention and wrap-around services for vulnerable youth at

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