February 2, 2024

MDE Partners with CIS Affiliates to Offer a New Grant Opportunity to Support Children

Michigan Department of Education Press Release LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is excited to announce a new partnership with Communities In Schools of MichiganCommunities In Schools of Kalamazoo, and Communities in Schools of Northwest Michigan. MDE and CIS affiliates have developed a new competitive grant opportunity open to eligible local education agencies, both traditional public school districts and public school academies, to support a new partnership with Communities In Schools or to enhance existing CIS partnerships.

“Communities In Schools is a great partner to school districts across the country to support children in everything from literacy and math tutoring to extended learning time to helping kids graduate from high school,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.  “An MDE-Communities In Schools-local school district partnership in Michigan will help expand student supports and student outcomes in participating schools and school districts.”

Communities In Schools places full-time student support coordinators in each partner school building to connect students and families with supportive adults and community resources. CIS staff use trauma-informed practices, restorative practices, and social-emotional learning strategies to focus on wrap-around supports targeting academic achievement, learning loss, absenteeism, and graduation rates. By empowering students, CIS helps provide a more equitable learning environment for all learners.

“MDE's financial commitment to assist districts in providing wrap-around Integrated Student Supports through Communities In Schools to their students is yet another example of the department's deep commitment to lifting up Michigan's students. Their understanding, as reflected in their policies and programs, is that every child, regardless of zip code, deserves a quality education. The data are clear. These services increase attendance, academic performance, and graduate rates," said Dr. David Hecker, CIS of Michigan board president.

“We believe in the transformative power of education. Through the judicious use of braided funding models, we are taking decisive steps toward the long-term commitment to empower Michigan's youth," said Mallory DePrekel, CEO at CIS of Michigan. "This commitment is not only to academic excellence but also to the overall well-being of the students we serve.”

MDE and CIS affiliates in Michigan are working together to bring schools this unique three-year grant opportunity to braid funding in support of students and schools. MDE will provide limited funding from American Rescue Plan, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) administrative funds, and CIS affiliates will provide matching funds. Some local district contributions will also be needed.

“Student support services are integral to ensuring students stay engaged, overcome barriers, and meet their academic goals,” said State Board President Dr. Pamela Pugh. “A partnership such as this one with Communities In Schools benefits students by providing the support that they need to reach their greatest potential during their school years and beyond graduation.”

Information regarding the CIS grant, including application details, funding amounts, and grant requirements, will be available on the MDE Office of Educational Supports website beginning Monday, February 5, 2024. The grant application opens in NexSys on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, and is due Friday, February 16, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.