Letter from our President/CEO

New life-barriers are presenting daily as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Children are experiencing disruptions to education, limited or no access to crucial technologyfood insecurities and so much more.

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Partners, Supporters & Friends,

Communities In Schools of Greenville serves students and families across Greenville County through the CIS Model, delivering integrated students supports, wrap around services, social emotional learning, and basic needs supports. These supports equip and empower students toward high levels of achievement in Attendance, Behavior, and Coursework, as well as building resiliency among other social-emotional skills.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to our schools, businesses, industries and every facet of our lives. As we continue to adjust to schools being closed across the state and Greenville, the community has responded extraordinarily. It is amazing to see community partners, non-profits, school districts, the faith-based community, and individuals working together as we all strive to get through this crisis.

Now, more than ever, services provided by CIS, especially to many of our most vulnerable students, are vital. CIS continues to provide integrated student supports, wrap around services, social emotional learning, and basic needs supports. Although the way in which we deliver these services has shifted, it is imperative we continue to serve, ensuring the gap of inequity does not widen.

Below are a few of the ways we have adapted to continue providing services throughout our region:

Assessment:We continue to conduct emergency needs assessments with our case managed population. Identifying struggles that may exist (access to food, technology, Wi-Fi, and stable housing) and seeking ways to remove those barriers for students and families.

Social Emotional Learning:Our student support specialists are developing virtual classrooms to ensure our students have access to ongoing social emotional learning (SEL) and mental health resources. During this time of stress and uncertainty, the skills our students have learned and developed through SEL will be paramount as they navigate heightened emotions within themselves and those around them. We will provide virtual SEL instruction to our students as well as push out SEL resources through our website and social media platforms for students and families.

Virtual Case Management:Our staff continues to provide integrated student supports and wrap around services through virtual case management. We are supporting school district leaders, administrators, teachers and school staff, who have all done an incredible job throughout this transition. Although students are not attending a school building, they are striving to continue schoolwork, and their needs have not lessened under virtual case management; quite the contrary, needs have dramatically increased. Our Student support specialists continue to work with our students ensuring they can participate in and complete their schoolwork and virtual assignments. Staff are also empowering students towards healthy behavior and effective emotional management, while keeping case managed students and small groups accountable toward their academics, annual goals, and aspirations.

Social Connectivity & Community Resources:Maintaining a healthy social atmosphere is extremely important. Student support specialists are utilizing a myriad of technology in order to be available through Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, and other social outlets.  Resources will be pushed out through all available means of communication.

Grade Level Promotion, School Transition, College & Career Readiness:Much uncertainty surrounds school closures, how long closures will last, and how the rest of the school year will be facilitated. Even more questions exist per the contexts of grade level promotion, school transition (5th to 6th grade and 8th to 9th grade), as well as high school graduation, and communication with colleges, universities and employers as it primarily relates to juniors and seniors. Our specialists are fully supporting our students and helping them to navigate these times of uncertainty, preparing them for the next step in their education or career journey.

We will continue to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances, tapping into local resources and capitalizing on best practices throughout the National Network of CIS. We will ensure we are providing the most advantageous supports possible to students and families while remaining committed in our support of district leaders, teachers, administrators and all others in the front lines of education during this epidemic.

More than ever, Communities In Schools remains committed to our mission: “To surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” How we accomplish this mission may look different over the coming weeks and months, but we will work tirelessly to ensure the success of each student. It is imperative our students and families know they are supported, not just in this moment, but through the entirely of this crisis and the long road of recovery that is sure to follow.  We appreciate your continued partnership as we remain #AllinforKids!

 

In Partnership,

Susi Smith

President/CEO

Communities In Schools of Greenville

ssmith@cisgreenville.org

864.250.6737

 

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