LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A $1.9 million grant from the Engelstad Foundation has been awarded to Communities in Schools of Nevada to help at-risk students stay on track for graduation and fight chronic absenteeism of younger students.

The grant will allow Communities in Schools (CIS) to expand into four schools:

  • Gene Ward Elementary School
  • Walter V. Long Elementary
  • Sedway Middle School
  • Rancho High School

In addition, the grant funds the CIS Academy program at Rancho High School.

Communities in Schools will receive $634,000 over each of the next three years. It is the third time the Engelstad Foundation has give the grant to the program, now totaling $3.2 million.

In Clark County, 22 percent of students in the past school year were chronically absent — defined as missing 18 days or more for any reason.

CIS issued this statement:

Nevada ranks 45th in the nation for education, a statistic that should alarm all Nevadans. Students who are hungry, sick, anxious, bullied or troubled may be too overwhelmed to learn, leading to failure in the classroom and eventually dropping out. Using an evidence-based, success-proven methodology and employing a network of more than 100 community agencies and nonprofits, CIS of Nevada literally brings the community into the school to provide students with the services and resources they need to alleviate outside pressures that prevent them from learning, ultimately encouraging them to stay in school. Since the pandemic, CIS of Nevada has worked around-the-clock to find creative ways in reaching students in their own homes, flipping the script and bringing school support directly into the community.

Communities in Schools