CISLA is addressing the dropout crisis by modifying the fundamental way in which student supports are delivered to schools and families in our city

Our Mission

Communities In Schools’ mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.


Our Vision

In 2015, the four-year graduation rate for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was 70.6%. More than 20,000 Angelenos are entering the economy every year without a high school diploma. The vision of Communities In Schools of Los Angeles is that every student in Los Angeles’ public schools receives the supports he or she needs in order to develop the emotional, social and learning skills required to graduate high school ready for meaningful employment or higher education.

Our Story

Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s leading high school dropout prevention organization. Working nationally with nearly 1.5┬ámillion students in 27 states, CIS is the only organization proven to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates in the schools in which they serve. Since its founding in 2007, CIS of Los Angeles has grown to serve over 10,000 students and families per year at 10 traditional, Title 1 public schools across LAUSD, with over 6,000┬ástudents having received individual case management.


Our Schools

Alexander Hamilton High School
Daniel Webster Middle School
Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Learning Center
Hollenbeck Middle School
Le Conte Middle School
John Liechty Middle School
Manual Arts High School
Mark Twain Middle School
Santee Education Complex
William Jefferson Clinton Middle School

Our Executive Team

Deborah Marcus, Executive Director

Gaudencio Marquez, Chief Program Director

Dana Henry, Director of Donor and Stakeholder Engagement


Our Board of Directors

Mary-Jane Wagle, Chairperson
Community Partner

Dan Unger, Vice-Chairperson
Founder, SRFR

Dr. Charles Alexander

Paloma Bilson
Protea Group International

Merav Broder
Broder Law Group

Thierry Dubois
Janas Associates

David Eisman
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP

Arlene Ford, PhD
Education Researcher

Risa Gertner
Motion Picture Literary Agent
Creative Artists Agency

Zac Guevara
Community Partner

Michelle Kydd Lee
Creative Artists Agency

Bianca Levin
Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Inc

Deborah Marcus
Executive Director
Communities In Schools of Los Angeles

Sofi Newmyer
Cultural and Experience Specialist

Victoria O’Seni
Creative Artists Agency

Nancy Sanders
Community Partner

Donna Weiss
Community Partner

Lauren Wooden
Community Partner


Directors Emeritus

Bill Courtney
Community Partner

Brian Loucks
Creative Artists Agency

Advisory Council

Deycy Avitia
Sherry Banks
Robert Battles
JoAnne Carrillo
Armando Diaz
Debra Duardo
Maria Espinoza
Peggy Funkhouser
Marlene Garza
Leslie Gialamas
Mark Antonio Grant
Tamara Greenebaum
Karren Lane
Jonathan Lopez
Mandla Kayise
Mary Keipp
Michelle King
Jamie Kogan
Wendy Kornbeck
Beverly LeMay
Regina Marquez-Martinez
Veronica Melvin
Regina Miller
Eric Moore
Ellen Pais
Mark Paredes
Pilar Pinel
Pamela Schachter
Angela Thomas
Anthony White

Professional Circle

Alex Angulo
Clark Bacon
Angie Banicki
Matt Bashweiner
Sarah Brown
Kasey Crown
Dan Fishman
Brian Frankel
Taylor Friend
Joseph Gilbert
Naseeb Gill
Jake Halladay
Bobby Khaleghian
Sean Kisker
Bettina Korek
Niija Kuykendall
Mark Liebowitz
Ashlee Margolis
Parham Nabatian
Ngoc Nguyen
Victoria Oseni
Kevin Parker
Greg Pearson
Crystal Ries
Gisselle Ruiz
Jiwon Song
Ramon Wilson
Blaine Zuckerman