Meet Courtney

Courtney is a senior who is now on track to graduate in June. She was referred to Communities In Schools for targeted intervention to ensure she graduated. She was struggling academically and was chronically absent, jeopardizing her opportunity to walk across the stage.  

Courtney was referred to her CIS Student Support Specialist, Ms. Watkins, who worked with her to address her attendance barriers and develop a plan to make sure she attended school regularly. Developing a one-on-one relationship with Courtney helped Ms. Watkins learn more about her underlying issues at home.  She connected Courney to resources to improve her home life and remove some of the barriers she was facing.  

One of Ms. Watkin’s strategies was to create a safe and engaging space at school. She offers attendance incentives like paint socials, one-on-one sessions with snacks, and access to the CIS quiet room, a relaxing retreat for students to complete work or have a moment to themselves.

Through one of the paint socials, Courtney regained her passion for art. She looks forward to Ms. Watkins’s paint sessions, and the opportunity for more creative outlets is now one of her motivators to keep attending school. Recently, Courtney participated in her first college fair where she explored post-secondary education options and career opportunities after graduation.

Courney’s improved attendance is reflected in her academics. She is turning in assignments on time, actively participating in classroom discussions and activities, and will be graduating in June. Since engaging with CIS and Ms. Watkins, she has grown both personally and academically. Courtney is looking ahead to a much more positive future, thanks to the supports provided by Ms. Watkins and Communities In Schools.

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