Communities In Schools of Mid America
1919 Delaware Street
Lawrence KS 66046
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (785) 856-5190
Fax 785- 856-5191
Mission Statement
The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Mid-America is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
CEO/Executive Director Malissa Martin
Board Chair Neta Jeffus CFP
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Communities In Schools of Kansas
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Fund an organization that works.  We help thousands of young people realize their potential, but many more need our services.  Help us expand our reach and deepen our levels of support.  There are multiple ways to donate: 1) Visit our donation page online at to set up a one time, monthly, quarterly or annual donation.  2) Mail a donation check to the main office address - 1919 Delaware Street, Lawrence, KS 66046.  3.)  Call us at 785-856-5190.
If you would like to volunteer, please check out the "Get Involved" link on the website for information at or call at 785-856-5190. 
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The mission of Communities In Schools (CIS) of Mid-America is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Background Statement
Organization Overview
The story of Communities In Schools (CIS) began in the 1970's, when Founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside public schools – where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable. “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children,” Bill once said. “A great program simply creates the environment for healthy relationships to form between adults and children. Young people thrive when adults care about them on a one-to-one level, and when they also have a sense of belonging to a caring community.”
And that’s exactly what Communities In Schools does. Today we are the nation’s largest and most effective organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Our unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life. We partner with local businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive adult role model, Communities In Schools is there to help.
Communities In Schools Mid-America:
CIS of Kansas was established in 1995. In 2014, CIS of Kansas became CIS of Mid-America, the first CIS state office to establish regional affiliates embedded in our 501c3. Today, the CIS of Mid-America network provides services in 57 schools in four states (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Iowa), to more than 38,000 students each year. Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Independent Evaluations
Multiple independent research organizations have conducted studies and evaluations of the CIS model within the past five years. These studies confirm that CIS is not only one of the most effective service models helping students overcome barriers to school success, but it is also highly cost-effective. Please contact us for a list of studies and evaluations.
Impact Statement
2018-2019 Accomplishments
Kansas City, MO:
1. Successful continuation of Kansas City, MO programs including local financial sustainability and responsive expansion efforts to meet the needs of more students.
2. Successful implementation of the Developmental Relationships Project resulting in increased levels of mentoring and social and emotional learning supports provided to middle school students.
3. Successful implementation of a “re-started” program at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School funded through the Kansas Department for Children and Families funds.
4. Successful engagement with Missouri local school district, the state agency, and legislative leaders to build an understanding of the CIS model and explore how the model can help in efforts to strengthen Missouri families and support Missouri students toward educational success.
2018-2019 Goals:
1. Successful resource development and field operations restructure/reorganization to focus on Site Coordinator support and strengthening the impact of CIS through quality program development while simultaneously building community engagement and increasing financial sustainability for the work of CIS.
2. Work with key markets to assess market demand, funding availability, and the feasibility of expanding and creating additional services and models.
3.  Assess revenue generation model - including fundraising, building relationships with key constituents, and other revenue generation possibilities.
Needs Statement
  1. Main office administrative funds to effectively support the program service network 
  2. Program operational funds 
  3. Student basic needs funds - Students in our programs face extreme economic and social challenges. Often, the student needs basic items to perform well in school. Those basic needs could be many different things i.e.  - a winter coat; equipment for a vocational program; etc.
  4. Staff capacity building/training funds
  5. Technology funds to efficiently manage a statewide network. Specific areas of need include finance and human resource department technology to increase capacity enabling the organization to successfully respond to increasingly complex needs of our growing organization.
Service Categories
Student Services
Areas of Service
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
For over 20 years, I have worked in partnership with community members to improve the quality of life for marginalized, abused, disenfranchised and forgotten people. I have dedicated my life to strengthening communities and its people by creating access to resources and real opportunities that foster real solutions.
As the Resource Development Director of KC for Communities In Schools of Mid-America (CIS), my experience and passion have afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with public school systems to help students succeed in the classroom and in life. We built a multi-disciplinary team to meet the needs of our students and school districts. Each school site has a skilled site coordinator who provides basic needs, one-to-one mentoring/coaching, and acts as a bridge for community members and agencies to engage with schools to address student concerns.
What the team and I have learned since entering the Missouri education market, is that students’ needs overshoot community investment. Students are expressing severe and varied responses to daily and or life traumas. Much like concentrated poverty, students in the Kansas City Public School Systems, inclusive of district and charter school systems, have experienced high-degrees of traumatic experiences. These experiences influence students’ quality of life - now and in their futures.
CIS interrupts the despair and nihilism many students experience day-to-day by allowing students to interact with a supportive, caring adult that’s not a teacher. Bill Milliken, the founder of CIS, says “it’s relationships not programs, that change children.” We want to be a positive change for all students, specifically those who are experiencing out-of-school challenges that affect school performance, attendance and engagement with their school environment.
I am excited by the work that we have accomplished. To sustain and increase our program’s progress, more support is needed:
• Streamlined student referrals between agencies and departments and support groups to help manage second-hand trauma experienced by staff and,
• Continued professional development and partnerships that promote and help secure post-secondary options for students.
CIS of Mid-America is a highly successful program that’s requesting support to build stronger school communities in Kansas City for all students, using an equitable, thoughtful and evidence-based approach.
Kourtney Woodbury, Resource Development Director of KC

CIS of Mid-America places highly qualified caring adults, called "Site Coordinators" directly into schools.  Once there, our job is to connect students and their families to critical community resources tailored to each student's specific needs.  Students struggling with low-incomes or poverty face daily barriers to school success.These barriers include - food insecurity, lack of transportation, unsafe housing, and unmet mental-health and medical needs.

Supports provided include:
  1. Whole-School Services-Widely available services that foster a positive school climate and address school-level risk factors
  2. Targeted Programs-Typically provided in a group setting to students with a common need
  3. Case-Management-Intensive, individualized services provided in a one-to-one setting to students with highly specific needs.
Category Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short-Term Success
CIS of Mid-America has a proven track record of improving student outcomes in academic achievement and behavior patterns. Students participating in CIS of Mid-America programs have increased promotion and graduation rates, improved attendance, improved academic performance and have fewer discipline referrals.
The success of these students is even more remarkable when their greater challenges are considered.  These are young people who, without the intervention of CIS of Mid-America, would likely fall below the national average for student success.   
Preliminary outcomes for case-management students in KCMO during the 2017-2018 school year include:
• 99% stayed in school
• 96% of eligible seniors graduated
• 91% were promoted to the next grade level
• 73% improved in behavior
• 67% improved in attendance
• 74% improved in academics
Long-Term Success
Different kids have different needs. Some need academic help or someone to listen.  Others just need a pair of eyeglasses. Helping students move beyond their circumstances requires an individualized approach. CIS of Mid-America treats young people as individuals and coordinates support around their needs. 
On average, one high school dropout will cost taxpayers roughly $292,000, as they're more likely to need community assistance. Alternatively, the annual cost per student served by CIS of Mid-America was only $130!  The CIS model focuses on reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates.  Through this effort, CIS of Mid-America can have a significant impact on the quality of life for students.  Graduates experience higher lifetime earnings and better health than their classmates who do not graduate.  Conversely, they have lower rates of public assistance and incarceration.
Program Success Monitored By
We measure our success by the results we are able to achieve for the young people we serve. We carefully evaluate all aspects of our programs, and use that information to constantly improve. CIS ensures high-quality implementation through a regular, rigorous accreditation process known as Total Quality Systems (TQS) across all of its affiliates and organizations. TQS is a comprehensive set of initiatives, policies, and protocols that guide the operations and growth of CIS' network.
TQS includes initiatives aimed at strengthening organizational performance. TQS policies and initiatives are designed to define the CIS Model and reinforce our commitment to evidence-based practices and accountability. Each CIS of Mid-America site engages in rigorous and on-going data collection, analysis, evaluation and reporting. This data-driven program evaluation is the core element of our continuous-improvement efforts.
Examples of Program Success
A CIS Site Coordinator noticed that James and Michael — two brothers with high absenteeism and trouble getting along with other children — were seldom in school on the same day. She also noticed that they were very hungry.
She learned that the boys’ family lived in significant poverty and there was rarely adequate food at home. The boys often had to share a pair of shoes, so only one could go out at a time. The older brother often won fights over who got to eat and who got to wear the shoes.
The Site Coordinator signed the boys up for Harvesters’ weekend BackSnack food program, connected the family with a local food bank, got the boys shoes with a voucher from Payless, and then began working with the family on how to deal with issues in a constructive without fighting.

The boys’ attendance and school behavior improved and they are doing better overall thanks to a collaboration of CIS, Topeka Public Schools, Harvesters, Payless, a local food bank, United Way and others.
Description A fast-paced, hands-on financial literacy simulation. Before attending Future Now: Finance students complete a lifestyle survey where they describe their lives as 26-year-olds: their jobs, salaries, family, homes, even shopping habits and entertainment. Communities In Schools of Mid-America staff then compares their surveys with their current school performance and assigns fictional jobs, salaries and families. Students are then challenged at Future:Now Finance to make ends meet using their salaries to pay for all the necessities of life: child care, transportation, groceries, homes, utilities, student loan payments etc.; plus budget for fun things like vacations and entertainment and invest and save for the future.
Category Education, General/Other Student Services
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short-Term Success

After going through a FutureNow: Finance event, 85% of students will self-report that they are more likely to make wise financial decisions and 85% of students will self-report that they are more likely to save more money. Students will show at least a 15% improvement of financial knowledge based on a pre and post-event quiz.

Long-Term Success

After experiencing FutureNow: Finance, students will have an increased knowledge in preparing for their financial future. Ideally, by the time students are twenty-six years old, they will have a financial plan and budget. Students are prepared for handling student loans, are successfully living on their own and have a healthy relationship with credit cards and borrowing money.

Program Success Monitored By

Student evaluations: After students have been through a FutureNow: Finance event, they complete an evaluation that gives them the opportunity to reflect and share what they learned and how they are going to use the information to better their future.

Prior to the event, students participate in a seven question quiz that indicates their knowledge of financial concepts going into the event. After they have completed the event, they take the same quiz to test what they have learned as a result of FutureNow: Finance.

Examples of Program Success

2015-2016 School Year: 

  • 94% of students self-reported that they are more likely to make wise financial decisions after attending a FutureNow: Finance event.
  • 93% of students self-reported that they are more likely to save more money after attending a FutureNow: Finance Event. 

The Pre and Post-Event quiz is a new measure to gauge students’ financial knowledge going into a FutureNow: Finance event as well as a measure of how much their initial, financial knowledge has changed after attending FutureNow: Finance. 

CEO Comments

CIS has refined its integrated student supports (ISS) model to bring needed community services into school buildings. Partnering with school districts, CIS trains and places highly qualified site coordinators directly into schools. Site coordinators serve as a bridge between schools and businesses, faith groups and not-for-profit agencies mobilizing high-quality community resources and connecting students and families to the services they need in the most efficient ways possible.

CIS site coordinators deliver two forms of services in the school building to achieve the goals and coordinate the planned supports: whole-school programs and case management. Whole-school services are designed to be widely available services to foster a positive school climate and address school-level risk factors. Services may include basic needs (clothing and food), mentoring, tutoring, health care coordination, summer and after-school programs, family engagement, career awareness and much more. The second form of service is case management. Site coordinators work in collaboration with school leadership to identify students who have characteristics that place them at risk of dropping out. Once the students has been identified, the site coordinator receives parent/guardian consent; assesses their needs and assets; creates individualized plans for action; provides / brokers / coordinates and monitors and adjusts service delivery; and evaluates student progress against the established goal throughout the school year. 

School leaders often explain that CIS builds capacity within their schools by effectively coordinating and bringing in local resources. Although many schools have counselors and some have social workers, their roles are very specific and do not include the type of integrated student supports provided by CIS. Site coordinators function as a complement to school staff which allows them to focus on students needing their specific types of expertise. This complementary structure equips schools to address a wide variety of student needs more effectively.
Many districts and schools would choose to have CIS supports, but a lack of sufficient funding is often a barrier. Therefore, as mentioned above, we are exploring opportunities to provide varying levels of service when a district has need, but financial resources for the full model are not available.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Malissa Martin
Term Start June 2007

Malissa Martin, President and CEO of Communities In Schools of Mid-America, has been a part of the CIS network since 1999. She began her CIS career in Houston and has since worked at the local, state and national level in varying leadership roles. With experience in urban, suburban, rural and frontier communities, her work with CIS has included essentially every facet of operations, and she has chaired or served on numerous CIS network task forces at the national level. Since coming to CIS of Kansas in 2007, she has significantly strengthened the organization, growing it to Communities In Schools of Mid-America in late 2013 and expanding beyond Kansas to Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. 

She was named by Governor Mark Parkinson to the Kansas Commission on Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery in 2009 and currently serves on the Kansas Citizens Panel for Custody to Transition. Malissa is an alumna of the Kellogg School of Management’s Center for Nonprofit Management and the Kansas Leadership Center. She was awarded the 2011-2012 Robert H.B. Baldwin Fellowship, studying and publishing on the subject of non-profit infrastructures. Malissa was a member of the inaugural cohort of the NYU Wagner/Communities In Schools Executive Leadership Development Program in 2012-2013 subsequently serving as a coach for the program. She continues to be a leader in the Communities In Schools network, demonstrating innovation and vision that result in growth with quality.

Senior Staff
Title Vice President of Strategy and Services
Experience/Biography Kelly is Vice President of Strategy and Services for CIS of Mid-America. She holds a B.A. in English and history from Texas A & I University, along with a M.Ed. in Education Administration from Angelo State University. Kelly comes to CIS of Mid-America with many layers of experience. This includes teaching at alternative schools in Texas, school and district level administration in Texas and Colorado and, most recently, five years as the United Way director for Routt County in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She and her husband, Scott, Publisher of the Lawrence Journal World, have two daughters, Maggie who is a recent graduate from Sewanee: The University of the South and working in her first job with a tech firm in Washington, DC and Libby who is beginning her studies in journalism at the University of Missouri.
Paid Full-Time Staff 76
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Paid Contractors 3
Volunteers 2971
Retention Rate 95%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
The word "community" in our name is no accident.  This work takes real partnerships, real collaboration, and real engagement. It's these relationships that make a meaningful difference in children's lives.  CIS is the hub, the glue that pulls all the pieces together, putting students at the center.
CIS of Mid-America collaborates with many community partners from the public, private, corporate and faith communities. At every site where CIS of Mid-America provides services, the primary collaboration exists with public school partners. Other types of agencies and organizations that frequently collaborate with CIS based on the specific school and student needs include: Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, local food banks, community health agencies, and post-secondary education agencies, just to name a few.
We are always looking to enhance relationships with partners as it aligns with our program mission.  We are proud to have a growing list of dedicated community partners. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Neta Jeffus CFP
Company Affiliation Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Term July 2014 to June 2023
Board Members
Joey Baker
Jesse Brinson
Paul Carttar
Whitney Casement
Alex Delaney
Neta Jeffus CFPWells Fargo
Laura KaiserKansas PTA
Howard Keim
Sarah Shipman
Don TurnbaughCisco Systems, Inc.
Cindy S. Wilson CPAWestar Energy
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Advisory Board Members
Cecila AnayaPrincipal, Building Just Systems
Josh BestIFF Regional Director
Gladys LizmaGuadalupe Center
Marissa MartinezUMB
Julie RiddleSenior Community Impact Manager
Leslie ScottKC Housing Authority
Coley WilliamsExecutive Director, CHES
CEO Comments
In many respects, FY19 was a typical year for Communities In Schools (CIS) of Mid-America: powerful service delivery; excellent outcomes for students, families, and schools; and strong non-profit management were all accomplished as usual.
However, in addition, a 14-member group representing all levels of the organization pulled aside on multiple occasions throughout the year.  Their purpose?  To engage in a deeply thoughtful, generative process of strategic planning for CIS of Mid-America's next three years.  The group assessed the sector and regional landscapes, whether related to service demand or funding feasibility.  They asked existential questions about CIS of Mid-America's vision, goals, and purpose.  They posed hard questions about sufficiency and individual or group interventions versus systems change.
Ultimately, the group created - and the board approved - a three-year strategic plan for fiscal years 20-22.  Interestingly, the first year of the plan calls for a mix of goal achievement and further exploration and decision-making.  As one group member remarked, "We still don't know all we need to know on a couple of key fronts.  Why shouldn't strategic exploration and resulting decisions be one of our strategies for the coming year?"  Our special thanks go to the board and staff members who served on this strategic planning task force. 
Among the many CIS of Mid-America accomplishments during FY19 are the early implementation of our tribal services in Anadarko, OK, focusing on students from the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, as well as successfully securing funding from the Missouri Legislature in support of our Missouri Small and Rural Schools Project, which will begin with a two-year implementation in Boonville, MO starting in FY20.
There is much to be excited about.  Opportunity surrounds us...opportunity to serve, to succeed in our goals, perhaps to succeed in a broader vision of who and how we serve.  There's room for you to join us in this inspiring time, and we'd love for you to be a part of what we do.  Thank you for your support.
Malissa Martin, President and CEO
Neta A. Jeffus, Board Chair
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2020
Projected Revenue $5,510,507
Projected Expenses $5,498,512
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporation line may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,609,895$1,886,434$2,786,380
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$6,941$4,508$1,690
Membership Dues$0--$0
Special Events$15,165$38,992$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$196,759$60,706
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$3,814,156$3,294,605$3,758,072
Administration Expense$447,660$326,148$352,785
Fundraising Expense$150,672$139,899$142,790
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.991.060.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%88%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$1,304,672$940,592$765,890
Current Assets$676,835$881,862$742,717
Long-Term Liabilities$453,391$135,684$125,035
Current Liabilities$344,392$246,390$321,659
Total Net Assets$506,889$558,518$319,196
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.973.582.31
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets35%14%16%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Kansas Department for Children and Families $1,789,625
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Foundation for Tulsa Public Schools $634,100
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Casey Family Programs $356,975
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Other Documents
CIS MidAm Annual Report2018View
Changing The Picture Of Education In Mid-America - Spring 2014 Report2014View
ChildTrends Report2014View
ESMI Economic Impact Study2012View
ICF Evaluation2011View
Organization Name Communities In Schools of Mid America
Address 1919 Delaware Street
Lawrence, KS 66046
Primary Phone (785) 856-5190
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Malissa Martin
Board Chair Neta Jeffus CFP
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Communities In Schools of Kansas