Rural School Partners
Since its 2009 formation, the National Center for Research on Rural Education (R2Ed) has collaborated with hundreds of schools in rural communities. These schools have worked directly with R2Ed researchers, helping the center implement studies on student-focused interventions and faculty-oriented professional development programs that have profoundly informed efforts to improve rural classroom instruction and student achievement in reading and science.
"We have learned so much from our school partners; they generously share ideas and suggestions that truly inform our practices," said Amanda Witte, an R2Ed project director. By developing and maintaining close working alliances with rural schools, we are better able to help meet the needs of students and families in rural communities.
"I am struck by how committed our school partners are to providing the best education possible for their students. They not only have amazing policies and practices in place, but they also actively seek fresh perspectives and techniques. We are so lucky to have the chance to connect with these educators.”
Participating educators, administrators and families have also offered invaluable feedback about implementing and participating in R2Ed research studies. Jane Howerter, principal of Fort Calhoun Elementary School in Nebraska, served as a liaison among teachers, students and R2Ed as the center introduced the Conjoint Behavioral Consultation in Rural Communities project to Fort Calhoun's K-3 classrooms.
“I saw it as an opportunity for our students and families to get some help and direction with setting up home structure and behavior reinforcement plans,” Howerter said. “Parents feel [that] the cooperative efforts between home and school have really helped their children find success in both environments.”
The following map features a sample of Midwestern school sites that have participated in R2Ed projects, which include Project READERS Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools, andCBC in Rural Communities. (Click the map to enlarge it.)