Communities In Schools now in all 55 counties in West Virginia

PRESS RELEASE:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In a landmark announcement, Gov. Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice proudly announced today that Communities In Schools (CIS) is now operational in all 55 counties of West Virginia.

Nicholas and Pleasants counties represent the final additions to the Communities In Schools program, with dedicated site coordinators already in place and the program fully implemented since the start of the semester.

“Investing in our children is the best investment we can make in West Virginia’s future,” Gov. Justice said. “That is why I’m so incredibly proud to see Communities In Schools reach every corner of our state. From one county when I took office to all 55 today is a testament to the incredible teamwork of our dedicated site coordinators, educators, families, the Department of Education, the Legislature, and all our community partners. Most importantly, the dedication from Cathy and her team has been remarkable. Without them, this program would be a fraction of what it is. We’re already seeing the data reflect positive graduation rate changes, test scores, and overall student well-being. The bottom line is that CIS works.”

“I am so happy to witness the expansion of Communities In Schools to every corner of our beautiful state,” First Lady Cathy Justice said. “This program has the power to transform lives by providing the needed support to our students. An enormous amount of credit is due to all our site coordinators who are our ‘boots on the ground,’ as they play a pivotal role in identifying, connecting with, and helping the students who need the extra boost in academics and all-around basic needs.”

Key achievements of Communities In Schools in West Virginia:

  • Expanded Reach: 259 dedicated site coordinators, strategically placed across 272 schools, directly empower over 114,000 students through individualized support and resource connections.
  • Economic Impact: Their annual salaries, exceeding $18 million, contribute significantly to local economies, supporting hundreds of West Virginia families.
  • Life-Changing Results: Countless stories of transformed lives showcase the program’s effectiveness in enhancing student performance, attendance, and overall well-being.

Communities In Schools is the First Lady’s primary initiative, and first took root in West Virginia in 2018. The program’s initial phase focused on three pilot counties: Berkeley, McDowell, and Wyoming. These counties served as a springboard for the innovative approach that has now flourished across the entire state. 

CIS works to forge community partnerships and bring resources into schools to help remove barriers to student learning, with a goal of keeping all students in school and ultimately graduating.

“Communities In Schools has had a life-changing impact on thousands of students in our state,” West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt said. “The relationships between site coordinators, schools, students, and families are at the core of this success. These students need support and structures that help them recover from setbacks and regain the confidence to believe they can do great things. Communities In Schools is essential to opening options and pathways for those needing hope and a vision for their future.”

The expansion of Communities In Schools to all 55 counties marks a triumph for Education in West Virginia, promising a brighter future for the state’s students and communities. As the CIS program continues its successful growth, it is poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of countless young individuals, shaping a more prosperous and educated West Virginia.

To learn more about Communities In Schools West Virginia, CLICK HERE.

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