The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

Communities In Schools Joins with Microsoft to Provide over One Million Students Free Office 365

Technology Collaboration will Change the Picture of Education for Students Served by Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, announced that one million students and CIS staff in 26 states and Washington, D.C. will receive Microsoft Office 365 at home, for no cost to them, thanks to a three-year collaboration with Microsoft and technology partner COMPAREX.

This represents the largest software and services partnership for Communities In Schools to date. The suite of Office 365 Pro Plus includes: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, Lync, plus OneDrive with access to cloud storage giving students and site coordinators the ability to use leading technology tools at any time and from anywhere to better prepare them for the modern workplace. Students will also have access to training and certifications via Microsoft’s IT Academy.

“This unprecedented collaboration will allow our national network of 200 affiliates to provide their students with technology that can help close the achievement gap and better prepare students for real jobs,” said CIS President Dan Cardinali. “Moreover, by relieving affiliates of the burden of hardware, software and IT costs, we can effectively free up resources that can be used to help more kids stay in school and succeed in life. We are grateful to our technology partner, COMPAREX for brokering this effort with Microsoft.”

“We are deeply committed to working with CIS and COMPAREX to harness the power of technology to provide students with equal access to digital resources,” said Jamie Harper, General Manager, U.S. Education, Microsoft Corporation. “At-risk youth are often unlikely to have broadband internet and other tools for learning at home, so we see this program as one step forward in the larger mission to bring all students the skills and certifications to better prepare them for college and the modern workforce.”

COMPAREX recently completed the successful migration of the CIS National office to the Microsoft Cloud. Nicholas Vossburg, Director of Cloud Services for COMPAREX, said, “We were pleased to be able to serve Communities In Schools.  Last year, our firm was designated as Microsoft’s 2014 US Education Cloud Platform Partner of the Year.  We serve all types of organizations but are thrilled to help mission-centric organizations with national impact like CIS.”