CIS is Floyd County Partner of the Year
Communities In Schools is Floyd County Partner of the Year
Posted on 04/05/2012
Rome-Floyd Communities In Schools was named the 2012 Partner of the Year for Floyd County Schools at the April meeting of the Floyd County Board of Education. The Rome-Floyd Communities in Schools is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with the school system high schools and the Floyd County Education Center to increase the graduation rate of our high schools. The partnership opened the Performance Learning Center this school year at the Floyd County Education Center where students from the high schools can complete their graduation requirements in an alternative setting. The program has helped eight teens to reach their goal of high school graduation already this school year.

The Performance Learning Center creates a business-like learning environment where students complete assignments using online, computer-based curriculum. Students learn at their own pace with assistance from support teachers providing individualized instruction. The PLC also provides experiential and service learning opportunities. Students are challenged to develop marketable skills in preparation for college and the workplace. The program provides students with mentors, internships, dual college enrollment, and technical training. In addition to the Communities In Schools components of the PLC, Floyd County Schools was allowed to vary the program to include a freshmen-focused learning environment to get students prepared to face the educational challenges of high school. Floyd County also added additional support by having a drop-out interventionist, transition specialist, and social worker on site. 

The Performance Learning Center® (PLC) concept was developed by CIS Georgia to bring another learning option to local communities and young teens. The PLC model has been lauded by state and federal education officials as one of the most effective strategies for improving graduation rates. In 2007, 91 percent of the nation’s PLC students improved their academic performance, and 75.7 percent of PLC students classified as seniors at the beginning of the year graduated. Dr. Melinda Strickland, principal of the Floyd County Education Center, has worked with Communities In Schools to develop the alternative education program this year. Strickland said, “There is no "one size fits all" in education and the FCEC and CIS are focusing on meeting students where they are and helping them reach their goal of graduation.”

Floyd County Schools was awarded a $160,000 grant from CIS Georgia to help fund the new learning center. The grant was used for building renovations, computers, printers, software, networking/wiring, and instructional services. The local Rome-Floyd CIS affiliate provides a CIS Services Coordinator for the program. The CIS Coordinator acts as a liaison with community volunteers, parents, colleges, businesses, and others involved in the program to provide mentors, job shadowing, and other services to the PLC students. The CIS coordinator serves a unique role by focusing on non-academic issues that may affect a student’s ability to learn. The CIS grant for the new Floyd County PLC came from federal funds awarded the Georgia Department of Education in its Race to the Top application, which included plans to expand PLCs in Georgia. There are 21 PLCs operating in Georgia, and 18 in other states. 

According to information from Communities in Schools, it is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life. In Georgia, CIS reaches nearly 100,000 students in 68 school systems. Key program areas include Performance Learning Centers®, mentoring, parent education, literacy, technology and youth leadership development. Communities sponsoring CIS programs have seen an increase in their high school graduation rates, an increase in attendance and academic achievement, and a decrease in their dropout rates. For more information on how CIS is helping make a difference in students’ lives and working with Georgia educators to increase the graduation rate, visit www.cisga.org , www.cisnet.org, or www.cisrome-floyd.org.

2012 Floyd County Partner of the Year

Photo: Dr. Dale Hamby, asst. principal at Floyd County Education Center; Nancy Griffin, Communities In Schools executive director; and David Newby, Rome-Floyd CIS board chairman.