Upjohn Author ORCID Identifier


Publication Date



Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 22-042




This report evaluates the impact of intensive student support services provided by Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo (CISK) to elementary students of Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). These intensive services typically follow a case-management format and include activities related to academic assistance, basic needs, enrichment/motivation, and life/social skills. Our evaluation examines the following student outcomes: the value-added of NWEA tests for reading and math, attendance rates, and the number of days of unexcused absences. The first two outcomes, reading and math scores, measure student achievement, and the latter two outcomes measure student engagement and student (and parent) behavior. Although KPS considers elementary grades to include kindergarten, we consider only grades one through five in this evaluation, primarily because of the lack of testing in kindergarten. We use both difference-in-differences and a panel event-study methodology, but we prefer the panel event-study approach because it incorporates the dynamics of students receiving CISK services. Based on this approach, we find attendance rates to be the only student outcome significantly affected by CISK services. To understand how these impacts affect outcomes later in their educational careers, we relate elementary-school attendance rates to the number of high school dropouts and graduates for four cohorts of fifth graders. We find that elementary attendance rates show a strong and statistically significant negative association with high school dropouts and a statistically significant and positive association with high school graduates. We conclude, based on our findings, that CISK’s intensive services can boost elementary attendance rates, which in turn can reduce the number of high school dropouts and increase the number of high school graduates. Achieving all three outcomes helps to reach the overarching goals of CISK.

Issue Date

April 2022


Upjohn project #34318


City of Kalamazoo

Subject Areas

EDUCATION; K-12 Education




Eberts, Randall W. and Zachary Brown. 2022. "Evaluation of Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo." Upjohn Institute Technical Report No. 22-042. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/tr22-042