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    South Lake High School, located in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle, WA, is well-connected to several community partners.  Primary partners include Communities in Schools and Community Passageways.

    Communities in Schools (CIS) is one of the nation's leading dropout prevention organizations. At South Lake, CIS surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Cognizant that several South Lake students are facing challenges both inside and outside the classroom, CIS and partners will coordinate a comprehensive range of services to support the needs of South Lake students—academic and non-academic—so they can come to school ready to learn.

    Two case managers are on-site every day coordinating a variety of activities. A site coordinator and family culture navigator oversee a broad array of services. They provide breakfast before school, coordinate healing circles to provide students with social and emotional support, and conduct academic boot camps for those who need credit retrieval. CIS also helps students develop the skills to develop resumes and cover letters, practice mock interviews, learn job-hunting skills and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They also provide basic services such as academic help, food and clothing, physical and mental health care, mentoring, and college and career preparation to help individual students overcome barriers to success at school.

    When necessary, CIS also helps transport students to school, provides wake-up calls, hosts monthly family engagement nights at South Lake, conducts home visits and provides financial support to families to help with rent and pressing bills – all in support of keeping students focused on academic success. The grant even provides a $100 stipend per month for families who will commit to attending support meetings two to three times per month.

    Another key component of their program is to help families better understand and navigate the Seattle Public Schools system. Going forward, CIS will help train families how to navigate the Source, which displays attendance, assessment scores and secondary student assignment grades. 

    Community Passageways (CP) uses restorative justice practices to work with system-involved youth, teachers, policy makers, community members, and other stakeholders. They have a four-pronged approach to community justice: (1) prevention will keep youth on a good path and show them new paths; (2) diversion will keep people out of the prison system; (3) incarceration will support people already in the prison system; and (4) re-entry will ensure a smooth, successful integration into the community. A key partner at South Lake, they will help prevent students from returning to the youth justice system and give students a strong, healthy start to help students flourish and contribute to a bright future.