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About Us

Our mission

is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

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2020-2021 School Year

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1 urban | 15 rural

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case managed students

444 urban | 573 rural



partner schools

17 urban | 23 rural

Organization Timeline





  • CIS-TN is established 

  • 3 schools in Nashville

  • 4 schools in Nashville

  • Memphis added to the CIS-TN network

  • 5 schools in Nashville

  • 2 schools in Memphis

  • 7 schools in Nashville

  • 13 schools in Memphis





  • 6 schools in Nashville

  • 19 schools in Memphis

  • 6 schools in Nashville

  • 21 schools in Memphis

  • 17 schools in Nashville

  • 16 schools in Memphis

  • 18 schools in Nashville

  • CIS-TN launches a three-year pilot program in
    23 rural high schools



  • 17 schools in Nashville

  • 23 rural high schools

Founding Task Force


The following community members came together to begin the work of CIS in the state of Tennessee.

Alene Arnold 

Executive Director | Tech Plus Tennessee

Hal Cato 

CEO | Thistle Farms

Alice Chapman

Managing Partner | MP&F Communications

Lonnell Matthews

Director | Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods & Community Engagement

Sean McCray

Manager | HCA

Candice McQueen

Commissioner | Tennessee Department of Education

Danielle Mezera

Education Consultant

Kathryn Kubiak-Rizzone

Physical Therapist

Julie Simone

Lipscomb University

Jim Shulman

Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability

Ronnie Stenie



Kaki Friskics-Warren

Executive Director | Dan & Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund

Jeff Yarbro

Tennessee State Senator

National Network

The story of CIS began in the 1970s, 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.  Operating in more than 2,300 schools in the most challenged communities of 25 states and the District of Columbia, CIS serves 1.5 million young people and their families each year.

It’s relationships, not programs, that change children. 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.

– Bill Milliken, Founder & Vice Chairman of Communities In Schools, Inc.