Mission & Beliefs
The mission of Communities In Schools of Houston is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
CIS believes that every child deserves the Five Basics to succeed academically and beyond. The Five Basic Principles of CIS are:
A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
A safe place to learn and grow
A healthy start and a healthy future
A marketable skill to use upon graduation
A chance to give back to peers and community
Because CIS believes in the power of relationships,
we provide on-campus integrated student supports that empower students to succeed in school and achieve in life.
CIS exists because students across Houston face a myriad of barriers to success. Whether they face mental health issues or are at-risk of dropping out of school, CIS provides two offerings: Mental Health & Wellness and Integrated Student Supports.
Mental health & wellness
Across the Greater Houston area, school districts and administrators have turned to CIS as they face significant mental health crises among their student population. Staff are experiencing a sharp increase in children and youth who are experiencing depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and other acute mental health issues. While CIS’ ultimate goal is that students graduate from high school, our first priority is to provide a safety net for at-risk students. Because there are too few accessible mental health resources at the community level, and because transportation is a major barrier, CIS has become the front line for these students on school campuses.
A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that 1 in 5 students living in the United States experience, or shows symptoms of, a mental health disorder. This crisis has been especially pronounced in Harris County, where the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute reported over 300,000 children and youth suffered from mental health illnesses in 2015. Because these symptoms are often unrecognized by parents, guardians or teachers, over 80% of these students do not receive the mental health care they need to be successful in school. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, criminal involvement, drug abuse, violence, and suicide. The majority of the students referred to CIS for behavioral problems are often grappling with severe mental health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, grief and loss, neglect and abuse.
The CIS Mental Health Initiative supports students with unmet needs by providing a full time mental health professional on school campuses, where children and families are most accessible and receptive to support. CIS Mental Health Professionals provide individual and group counseling and connect students and families to additional community mental health resources.
Keeping kids in schools
Every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school – totaling 1.2 million students per year. In Texas, studies have indicated that individuals who do not graduate from high school are unemployed at a rate four times higher than a high school graduate, and make $7,000 less per year than high school graduates. CIS youth are the students at greatest risk of dropping out of school (Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System).
Whether a child needs someone to talk to, tutoring, a trip to the dentist, school supplies, or a safe place to live, CIS is there to help.
Full time Student Support Specialists assist students by providing supportive guidance and counseling, academic support college and career preparation, health and human services, parent and family engagement, and cultural enrichment on the school campus. Our program staff are skilled at assessing a student’s needs and providing direct services and referrals. CIS was created and is uniquely positioned to tackle many of these hard issues schools lack the time to address, because we are on the school campus each day with full access to students and their families. Find out more about how CIS keeps kids in school and our Integrated Student Supports program.