Frequently Asked Questions about Communities in Schools Programs
Who does CISNT (Communities in Schools of North Texas) help?
CISNT focuses our services on at-risk students, but provides services to an entire school-wide campus body. CISNT places full time professionals-we call them "Site Coordinators"-on school campuses that have significant (generally more than 40 percent) populations of students that are considered "at-risk" of failing to promote to the next level or dropping out of school. We provide direct services (social work case management, school supplies, mentors, character building programs) to these students on a regular basis.
How is a student determined to be at-risk of dropping out of school?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has defined criteria that help identify students that are likely to drop out of school. Determining if a student is at-risk includes analysis of academic data, economic data, attendance data, behavior data and ethnic data. Teachers, counselors, administrators, nurses, peers and parents of the student, or even the students themselves, can refer a student at-risk of failing to promote to the next grade level or dropping out of school. Once referred to CISNT, a parental consent form must be signed and returned to allow CISNT to serve students.
What does it cost a student to participate in CISNT services and programs?
CISNT services and programs are free of charge.
We operate off of TEA, district, and grant funding, benefactors, and donations. If you are interested in donating to the CIS program, please click here.
Does CISNT only serve students?
In addition to serving at-risk students, CISNT provides services and programs that benefit family members and community members. For example, different CISNT facilitates health fairs, college and financial workshops for parents, service learning projects and more that benefit the community and other services that will create a safer community and promote healthy families and healthy communities for the at-risk student to live in.
Do you offer services in Spanish?
Yes, we have several bilingual Site Coordinators who serve our Spanish-speaking students and their families. In addition, we offer parent programs that bring in community resources to help the family that are delivered in Spanish as well as English. Our CISNT student application, called the Parental Consent Form, and all CIS forms are in both English and Spanish.
If I want to become a CISNT volunteer, what should I do?
Volunteering at CISNT as a mentor for an at-risk student or as an academic coach to provide essential support to our students is a simple process. Our volunteer application can be completed online here at our CISNT website. Once you complete the application, RSVP to attend one of the one hour volunteer training sessions that happen in Denton and Lewisville. You can find a list of upcoming trainings on our website here. Once these steps are completed, CIS will perform a Criminal Background Check using a nationwide database. Pending approval, you will be contacted by one of our volunteer coordinators who will match you with the best assignment that matches your desires for volunteering and the needs of a campus. If you fill out an application and want to placed on the DHS campus, please specify that on your volunteer application.