Funding for CIS program in Groesbeck comes to an end

Posted: 11:40 AM, May 17, 2023
Updated: 2023-05-17 22:47:07-04

GROESBECK, Texas — For the last two years, federal and state grants have funded a Communities in Schools program at Groesbeck ISD. That funding is now coming to an end, which means students will not have CIS after this school year.

The CIS program places case workers on different campuses across the state.

"Communities in Schools of Texas is typically designed to engage students, empowering them to stay in school and achieve at life," Groesbeck ISD Superintendent Anthony Figueroa told 25 News. "It is designed to help with family visits, academic achievement, tutoring, programs for whenever there's a crisis or behavioral health, mental health especially."

Groesbeck ISD mother Amber LaCount's son Robbie is just finishing kindergarten at H.O. Whitehurst Elementary School. She said she's not sure how he would've done this year if it wasn't for CIS staff.

"He established a relationship with my child that I cannot describe it," she said. "It's just a really good, trusting relationship. My son will talk to him about things he may not have been comfortable talking about before."

LaCount said losing the program will be a step backwards for students and she's not sure how to break the news to her son.

"It's going to be very devastating and I'm not sure how to approach that with him," she said. "We haven't discussed it yet. I wanted to let the year play out and then talk to him about it, but it's tough."

"By losing communities in schools, this school district is going to suffer," Figueroa said. "Any school district who has communities in schools is going to suffer when they lose them."

This district said CIS coordinators helped countless students during their two years at Groesbeck.

"You cannot put a price on four individuals, one on each one of our campuses, who's job all day long is to only focus on student academic, student attendance, behavioral needs," Figueroa said. "They can go down to the home if they need to, they work on if the students are fed, having a bad day, if they have clothing."

Coordinators also worked closely with school staff to introduce them to different techniques and resources they can continue to use.

"The resources she's taught us are permanent and things in the community we might just not have known about just because you don't know all the things all the time," Dr. Bonnie Bomar, principal at Groesbeck High School, said. "Just that growing and learning piece for all the adults in the building has been very positive."

"They've only been here two years, imagine what would happen if we were able to have them 10 years or 15 years and the impact it would have on the kids," LaCount said.

Groesbeck ISD falls under the Heart of Texas Communities in School. The program works with ten total districts in central Texas, including Waco ISD, Mexia ISD, Midway ISD and La Vega ISD.

For the 2021-2022 school year coordinators worked with 17,087 students and case managed 4,006.