Communities In Schools of Chicago is a dropout prevention organization that works. Our model is backed by data and rigorous research. This year, we are partnering with 175 Chicago Public Schools, helping students succeed and stay in school.

We connect schools with needed programs and services and provide one-on-one and group counseling to specific students. Our team relies on a set of organizational core values that guide our approach to working and serving students, schools, and the community at-large. We began working in Chicago in 1988 and have a rich history of serving, in total, more than 1 million Chicago students.

The mission of CIS of Chicago is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

The vision of Communities In Schools of Chicago is to ensure that every public-school student in Chicago graduates from high school prepared to succeed.

It’s not enough that we or our partners do something; we want to make sure we do what works. Outcomes are our primary metric. Reflection, assessment and adjustment are integral components of our work.   


We believe in the power of relationships. We strive to build a real sense of connection among students, as well as our staff, our board of directors, our donors, and our school and community partners. Ultimately, strong relationships build strong communities.


We believe in each person’s inherent potential. Many Chicago students face complex issues like poverty and community violence that impact their learning. We are doing our part to help each child we serve to overcome those obstacles and have a fair chance in life to succeed.

Social Justice

At CIS of Chicago we strive to be principled with our decision-making and our actions. Honesty, accountability and dependability are non-negotiables for us. They are keystones to doing good work – and to building trust within our organization and among our partners.


Our Work


The New York Times: 'Gifts With Meaning'

CIS News


by Nicholas Kristof

Since our founding in 1988, CIS of Chicago has worked to prevent dropout by serving more than 1 million Chicago public-school students, connecting them to essential programs and services to help them overcome barriers to learning and succeed in life.