Unfortunately, academic struggles are not the only challenges that our students face today. There are many situations that occur outside the classroom, such as hunger, homelessness, poverty, and poor health, that can impact the academic success of a child. Communities in Schools of Lake County (CIS) and the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) are partnering on a CIS program called Integrated Student Supports (ISS) to help get East Chicago students the resources they need to achieve in school.


CIS is an organization that goes into schools to provide different programs for students. These programs can address academic, behavioral, familial, and other issues that may be hindering students. The ISS program, which is being partially funded over the course of two years in the School City of East Chicago works to address some of the underlying issues that struggling East Chicago students may be facing and helps get them back on the right academic track.


First, in-need or at-risk students are identified and recommended for the program by teachers, counselors, and administrators. Professionals within the ISS program then conduct baseline assessments to determine what may be the reasons for the student’s academic struggle and to gauge where they are scholastically at the start of the program.


Throughout the school year, ISS participants will meet regularly with an ISS Coordinator to track their progress and manage their case. They will be given access to any resources they may need to improve academically, including: tutoring, support groups, mentoring, counseling, health services, social skills/life skills, substance abuse education, vocational exploration, and more. At the end of the program, the student will be assessed again to mark the progress he or she has made while in the program. The goal is that all students will be on track to graduate or advance to the next grade.


The overall cost of the two-year program is $150,000. CIS of Lake County was awarded a $75,000 grant from the CIS National office. FEC agreed to match the CIS contribution of $75,000 in what is called a Matching Grant. Between the two organizations, the program will be funded for 70 students in East Chicago schools for two years.


To learn more about FEC’s contribution to education in East Chicago, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.


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