Connecting Students to Community Resources

About Communities in Schools

Aurora Public Schools (APS) is supporting students through a three-year partnership with Communities in Schools (CIS), a national nonprofit with an evidence-based model for increasing high school graduation in at-risk schools by providing community resources and student supports that remove barriers to learning and success.

We are committed to supporting proven programs, and CIS, which has a strong record of evaluation and replication, is providing evidence that public-private partnerships embedded in school districts can increase student success in Colorado.” — Lisa Montagu, Health & Education Investment Director, Gary Community Investments

Purpose of Funding

Through this partnership, APS is building the district’s capacity to implement a full-service, multi-tiered community school model that works in partnership with community providers, teachers and school leaders to support students’ physical, psychological and social needs. By bringing community resources into schools and helping remove barriers to student learning, CIS provides the most at-risk students with intensive, targeted interventions while allowing teachers to focus their time on instructional activities and student academic growth. During its first two years at APS, the model is being executed in five schools in the International Leadership ACTION Zone with plans for potential expansion to additional schools in the third year.

Amount Funded


Funding Period

2016 - 2019

Outcome Area

Youth Success

Impact & Results

Implementing a Proven Model in Colorado

CIS’s proven model of multi-tiered and integrated student supports is helping to address the non-academic factors that inhibit student success, such as hunger, homelessness and trauma. Over the first full two years of the program’s implementation, CIS case-managed students have experienced increased attendance rates and GPAs, along with higher graduation rates. The following are outcomes to-date from the partnership between CIS and APS.


Days increase in average attendance for case-managed students in kindergarten through grade 8


Points increase in average GPA of case-managed students


Percent increase in graduation rate among case-managed students

CIS goes the extra mile to support our teachers, families and students. I'm amazed by the time and energy they put into meeting the needs of our families and scholars, whether it is clothing and food or social emotional help. I have asked for help in gathering supplies that I know my students are struggling with, such as school supplies, clothing, food or personal hygiene products. They always come through.

– Ashleigh Leewaye, Fourth Grade Teacher, Paris Elementary School

CIS staff help to minimize the distance between parents and school. They make it feel like parents and the school are the opposite side of the same coin by improving communication and providing us support when we need it.

– Parent, Crawford Elementary School

CIS staff have helped me with my attendance. They inspire me to be better no matter what and to love being at school no matter what.

– Student, Crawford Elementary School

Communities in Schools’ work with APS is yielding great impact on some of the highest-need students and schools. The team of caring adults on campus are using evidence-based practices to integrate supports for the social, emotional and academic needs of students, which provides teachers more time to focus on instruction.

– Dale Erquiaga, President & CEO, Communities In Schools