Communities In Schools of Mid America
2721 W. 6th Street, Ste. E
Lawrence KS 66049
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (785) 856-5190
Mission Statement
The mission of Communities In Schools 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 Laura Kaiser
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired/Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Communities In Schools of Kansas
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 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 of Mid-America:

CIS of Kansas was established in 1995.  During 2014, CIS of Kansas become Communities In Schools of Mid-America with the addition of programs in Tulsa, OK; Omaha, NE; Waterloo, IA; and, Kansas City, MO. Today, the CIS of Mid-America network provides services in 49 schools to more than 35,000 students and their families each year.

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, it is highly cost effective. Please contact us for a list of studies and evaluations.

Impact Statement
2016-2017 Accomplishments:
  • Completed successful planning phase for Kansas City, MO expansion project.
  • Secured Kansas Department for Children and Families funding for an innovative pilot project focused on applying the CIS Model to support child and family well-being in two Kansas communities experiencing among the highest rates of child removal and entry into foster care in the state.
  • Participated in a pilot project with the CIS National office to test the newly redesigned CIS Data Management System used to gather, monitor and analyze needs assessment, school and student performance.
  • Added two AmeriCorps VISTA members to help build organizational capacity in Central Kansas and Southeast Kansas. 
2017-2018 Goals:
  • Successful launch of CIS program in 11 Kansas City, MO schools: Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, Banneker Elementary, Melcher Elementary, Frontier School of Innovation Middle School, Crossroads Academy Middle/High School, Central Middle School, Northeast Middle School, Central Academy of Excellence, Northeast High School, East High School and Alta Vista High School.
  • Successful incorporation of former CIS of Ottawa school-based programs into CIS of Mid-America operations.
  • Successful launch of the Child and Family Well Being Pilot Project funded by the Kansas State Departmnet for Children and Families in Emporia and Pittsburg, Kansas.
  • Adding agency-wide capacity through the addition of an AmeriCorps VISTA member placed with the CIS Mid-America Main Office to support program development.
  •  Launch of an elevated marketing and communications strategy partially funded through an investment from CIS National.  The goal of the new strategy is to increase name recognition and understanding of CIS work across the Mid-America region in support of program development, financial sustainability and growth efforts.
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

If I were asked to describe Communities In Schools of Mid-America in only a word or two, I would choose "innovative" and "pivotal". Because of the innovative work in which we've been engaged - our structural and business model changes, the rapid and significant growth of services while achieving and sustaining high-quality outcomes, the continuing commitment to both excellence in and scrutiny of all that we undertake - we are in a position of strength to address the pivotal developments that lie ahead.

My family's story is one of the power of education. The trajectory of my life was forever altered because my father was determined that education was going to be his path to a better life than the one he knew growing up.  Education helped him overcome nearly every societal ill or shortcoming that can be named...poverty, abuse, addiction, ignorance, lack of opportunity.  Every day I am aware that the work I am honored to do at Communities In Schools of Mid-America can be traced back to a boy who grew up with no advantages and scarce resources, but who believed in himself and had positive adult role models at school who believed in and supported him, too.
The students and families with whom we work are no different and their stories share common threads: seeking opportunity that transcends where we live or from where we came, our socioeconomic status, or the color of our skin; seeking freedom from relentless generational poverty; seeking education that enables our children to know their full potential.  At Communities In Schools of Mid-America, our vision statement read, "Every child in the Communities In Schools of Mid-America region succeeds in school and in life."  Not every child or teen needs Communities In Schools.  But with an average of 50% of students in our five-state region (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska) living in poverty or eligible for free/reduced lunch, aside from other risk indicators, it is imperative that we work to make sure that ALL kids receive the support they needs to succeed in school and in life.
It is a privilege and a powerful responsibility to be a world-changer.  We've got a lot more to do here at Communities In Schools of Mid-America.  What is your role in this transformative work at this critical time? 

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.  By providing students a relationship with a caring adult, we create a safe place to learn and grow, a strong start to a healthy future, a path toward a marketable skill upon graduation, and a chance to give back to the community.  

As a result, this evidence-based model, of integrated student supports (ISS) is proven to decrease dropout and increase graduation rates. 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.   
Students receiving individualized support during during the 2015-2016 school year achieved tremendous results (2016-2017 data coming soon!):
  • 98% stayed in school
  • 91% of eligible seniors graduated
  • 93% were promoted to the next grade level
  • 82% met behavior goals
  • 81% met attendance goals
  • 86% met academic goals
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 $101!  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.

Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
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.
Title Vice President of Administration
Experience/Biography Donnie is the Vice President of Administration on the CIS Mid-America executive team. She is housed at the state office and manages CIS of Mid-America’s administrative functions, human resources, training, facilities, and insurances in addition to overall office organization. She comes to us after 20 years with TFI (non-profit) as Director of Administration, 11 years with Peabody Coal Co. as Director of Marketing Research and 5 years with Arthur Andersen Consulting as Senior Consultant. She has a Bachelor’s in Family and Child Development as well as an MBA from Kansas State University.
Title Director of Finance
Paid Full-Time Staff 74
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 2152
Paid Contractors 0
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 specific school and student needs includes: 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 Laura Kaiser
Company Affiliation Retired/Community Volunteer
Term July 2002 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Jesse Brinson
Alex Delaney
Ary Guerrero
Neta Jeffus CFPWells Fargo
Elaine Johannes PhDKansas State University
Laura Kaiser Kansas PTA
Howard Keim
Larissa Long Retired/Community Volunteer
Karen Mintz Community Volunteer
Don Turnbaugh Cisco Systems, Inc.
Marianne Waxse Travel and Transport, Inc.
Cindy S. Wilson CPAWestar Energy
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
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
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments
CIS of Mid-America is continuing its exciting expansion into Kansas City, Missouri!  Our board is extremely excited about this new opportunity while continuing to oversee the organization and support the staff in their endeavors.  This latest expansion is made possible from a competitive grant CIS of Mid-America was awarded from CIS National, and the support of the Kaufman Foundation, SchoolSmartKC, Kansas City Public Schools and Kansas City Charter Schools.
We are well positioned to take on these new opportunities with our concise and measureable three-year strategic plan. Many of the focus areas for FY17-19 were generated at our March board retreat.  The board revised its officer/chair structure to allow for greater stability within the board and distribution of responsibilities.  In addition, the board is continuing to evaluate itself and analyze gaps to ensure we are as strong as possible to oversee this amazing organization.
The future is exciting.  Our board and staff are positioned to maximize opportunities by being nimble and being good stewards of the assets of the organization.  But, the need for sustainable resources to support and sustain CIS of Mid-America's programs is ongoing.  We are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated staff and board working on behalf of students in need. 
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $4,160,689
Projected Expenses $4,253,647
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: 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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,786,380$2,268,467$2,754,375
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,690$1,021$1,172
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$60,706$22,917$75,292
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$3,758,072$3,572,681$3,274,278
Administration Expense$352,785$234,040$354,619
Fundraising Expense$142,790$105,740$102,427
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.041.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%91%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%3%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$765,890$976,438$870,517
Current Assets$742,717$933,173$858,321
Long-Term Liabilities$125,035$167,130$238,345
Current Liabilities$321,659$397,154$220,679
Total Net Assets$319,196$412,154$411,493
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities2.312.353.89
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets16%17%27%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountKansas Department for Children and Families $1,789,625Kansas Department for Children & Families $1,728,727 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundation for Tulsa Public Schools $634,100Communities in School - National $1,041,513 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCasey Family Programs $356,975Casey Family Programs $310,560 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Communities In Schools of Mid America
Address 2721 W. 6th Street, Ste. E
Lawrence, KS 66049
Primary Phone (785) 856-5190
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Malissa Martin
Board Chair Laura Kaiser
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired/Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Communities In Schools of Kansas