Communities In Schools of Seattle (CISS) has partnered with Seattle Public Schools since 1998 through an evidence-based model that employs a Site Coordinator in each school who assesses individual student and school-wide needs, formulates a plan, and coordinates intensive interventions and wraparound supports for the students most at risk for dropping out. Site Coordinators collaborate with each school administration, teachers, and counseling staff to identify students with the highest need for these services. Once identified, the students receive a range of individual supports that help break down barriers to success. The individual support may include academic help, basic needs like food and clothing, physical and mental health care, mentoring, or college and career preparation. Equal parts compassion and expertise, Site Coordinators work one-to-one with struggling students to get them what they need to stay on track at school.
Comprehensive Support at Aki Kurose Middle School, Denny International Middle School, Madison Middle School, and South Shore K-8.
In addition to the individual supports, the Site Coordinator provides school-wide offerings to boost the entire school community. A Site Coordinator might organize an all-school assembly, collaborate on a back-to-school program, or bring speakers in to discuss different career paths and opportunities. The Site Coordinator is unique in that they build positive relationships with and have impact on most students at a school through individual and school-wide supports.
Site Coordinators also collaborate with and support student’s families, especially as we recover from the pandemic. This was especially critical to student success as Seattle Public Schools moved into virtual learning last year and will be a pivotal piece this fall as we move fully back to in-person learning. Some examples of whole family support and resources include food backpacks for the weekend, home visits, housing resources, as well as check in with parents/guardians on attendance, behavior, and coursework. Though hard working and resourceful, the Site Coordinators cannot do this work alone. By collaborating with other social service agencies, businesses, health care providers, community members and volunteers, Site Coordinators bring the community into the school to connect students with needed resources.