Sara Massey is President of Communities In Schools of Greater New Orleans, Inc. It is the Louisiana affiliate of Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization. Communities In Schools is changing the picture of education for nearly 1.5 million students and their families every year. CIS does that by working with the most vulnerable students in kindergarten through the senior year of high school by operating inside school districts in some of the most challenged communities across the United States. CIS’ unique model positions site coordinators inside schools to assess the needs of students and to provide them resources that will help them stay in school and succeed in life. CIS partners with local and national businesses, social service agencies, health care providers and volunteers. Whether it’s providing food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance or a positive role model, Communities In Schools is there to help.
Sara joined CIS in New Orleans in 2006 and has grown the affiliate from one site pre-Katrina to 15 public school sites offering case management, counseling and supportive guidance, in-school mentoring, AmeriCorps tutoring and CIS Champ Camp, the affiliate’s 21st CCLC afterschool programming at three sites. Staff also provide in-kind donations through the CIS Champs Choice Store. CIS has the largest mental health credentialed staff working fulltime in New Orleans public schools.
Sara is a City Council- appointed member of the Children and Youth Planning Board where she serves as the Education Committee Chairman, and is a steering committee member of YouthShift, the collective impact initiative in New Orleans. She is working on the advisory team to the New Orleans Youth Programming Quality Improvement initiative which will pilot the YPQI continuous improvement process, developed by the David P. Weikert Center, in 15 programs in New Orleans in 2015-16.