Consider Becoming a
Partner school.



Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan (CIS), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life, invites school districts to explore the opportunity to participate in our evidence-based programming. This EOI aims to identify school districts interested in collaborating with CIS of Northwest Michigan to enhance the educational experience and outcomes of their students.

With matching funds from the CIS National Office and the Ballmer Group, CIS of Northwest Michigan is poised to scale our programming to 4-6 additional Title 1 schools in Northwest Michigan over the next three years.

We are inviting interested districts to participate at a reduced cost. We are looking for districts that can contribute 50% of the total programming cost per school ($45,000/school year), with the National Office covering the remaining 50%. Once an official partnership is established, it is the goal of CIS to work together to fundraise and lower a significant portion of each school’s commitment. This would allow the district to either carry funds over for future years beyond the grant period or reduce the overall cost to the school district.

This is an amazing opportunity to bring CIS into your school!


Communities In Schools (CIS) of Northwest Michigan is a vital part of the national CIS network dedicated to ensuring every student’s success, regardless of their background. We place full-time CIS Site Coordinators in each school and are currently working within 8 Michigan schools in four school districts – East Jordan Public Schools, Ellsworth Community School, Kalkaska Public Schools and Mancelona Public Schools – connecting students to supportive adults and community resources. We prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in our mission and practices.

Our CIS Site Coordinators assess needs, collaborate with partners, and provide essential services. Last year, we served over 1,650 students, drawing on 40 years of experience in Integrated Student Supports.*

We adapt to the evolving education landscape, offering support, basic needs, and enhanced student services. We equip our staff with the skills to help address the disparities and barriers students face like poverty and racism. Staff use trauma-informed practices, restorative practices, and social-emotional learning strategies while working with students. We strive to hire staff who reflect the communities they serve.

We’re expanding our reach while maintaining quality, following the CIS model, and building strategic partnerships. Our team includes 7 Board Members, 15+ staff, 40+ community partners, and 50+ volunteers.

In short, CIS of Northwest Michigan is dedicated to student success, equity, and collaboration, working to create brighter futures for all Northwest Michigan students.

*Integrated Student Supports” is a school-based approach to promoting students’ academic achievement and educational attainment by coordinating a seamless system of wrap-around supports at multiple levels that target students’ academic and no academic barriers to learning. The five common components of ISS include; a needs assessment, coordination of supports for students, integration of supports within schools, community partnerships, and data collection and tracking. CIS of Michigan uniquely provides case management as well as part of our ISS model.

Scope of Collaboration

The scope of collaboration between your school district and Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan will encompass:

  • Program Implementation: CIS will partner with the school district to implement its evidence-based programming, tailored to the district’s unique needs and challenges.
  • Integrated Student Supports: Broker comprehensive student support services, including case management, mentoring, tutoring, family engagement, college and career preparation, and access to essential resources like food, clothing, and hygiene products. These supports are provided as school-wide, small group, or one-on-one supports targeting students with strategic and intensive level needs.
  • Family and Community Engagement: Engage families and local community organizations to strengthen the support network for students, fostering a positive learning environment.
  • Data and Impact Assessment: Collaborate on data collection and reporting to evaluate the effectiveness of CIS programming in improving student outcomes. CIS has a data management system that staff use to monitor progress and track impact for individual students and school-wide goals. Goals include attendance, coursework, behavior, culture and climate, social-emotional learning, and college and career preparedness. Staff work with school administration to ensure supports stay aligned with the needs of the school and adjust as needed.
  • Professional Development: Offer professional development opportunities for district staff to enhance their ability to support students holistically.

Evaluation and Selection Process

Expressions of interest will be evaluated based on alignment with CIS’s mission, district location, and the potential for collaboration. CIS will follow up with interested school districts to discuss collaboration possibilities in more detail.


Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan is eager to engage with school districts committed to providing comprehensive integrated student Supports for their students. We believe in the power of collaboration to drive positive change in education. Together, with a committed school district, CIS of Northwest Michigan will fuel personal potential, so every student can take charge of their story and define their own success in life.

Thank you for considering this unique opportunity to join forces with Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan at an unprecedented juncture. Our goal is to use this opportunity to reach more schools in Northwest Michigan.

we’re here For all your questions

Submission Deadline: Expressions of interest must be completed in the form below or via email to

Contact Information:

For inquiries or clarification regarding this invitation for collaboration, please contact:

Amy Burk (Executive Director)