Saturday Stories: Rural Schools

Your Weekend Reads in Education

In conversations about equity and access in education, an increasing awareness has begun to surround rural school districts. Rural schools face a variety of obstacles in attempting to provide students with personalized learning experiences: lack of internet connectivity, tight budgets, and passionate teachers who are forced to wear many hats, to name a few.

To support rural districts, Future Ready Schools, a planning and resource hub for personalized, digital learning, built a full guide to personalizing learning in rural areas. The guide was released a few months ago, and many educators have already had the chance to begin thinking about how they can take insights from the guide and make them a reality. But we wanted to highlight it again, for those that missed it, and take some time to explore the unique strengths, creative leaders, and inspiring students that make these districts thrive.

Download the Future Ready guide below, or keep scrolling to find your weekend reads in education with a focus on rural schools. 👇

Challenges of Rural Schools: An Educator’s Perspective

By Eatonville Schools Director of Innovation and Learning Michael Farmer

“Ultimately, this is about equity. In 2017 equity is a common school conversation topic, particularly in terms of having an equity “lens” on education. Increasingly, that lens includes geography, especially in the form of a student’s zip code and what that might tell us about their need for intervention and support, or their potential for success.” — Michael Farmer

Rural Schools and Personalized Learning

“In order to make up for the lack of resources and limited budgets in their classrooms, many of these teachers will wear many hats — a language arts teacher may also be the intervention specialists and teach an elective to an entire county, principals might teach yearbook and coach football. These educators step out of their comfort zones to cultivate a full learning community for their students, and make explorative opportunities available to students that would otherwise be out of reach.”

Making Education Relevant to a Local Economy

“Some students in rural schools are heavily invested in their local community economy — and the disconnect between that economy and the contents of the presented curriculum can make school feel somewhat useless. These students are goal-oriented: they know that they will be entering their local economies as workers and leaders after high school, and they’re proud of their contribution and commitment to their communities.”

Rural Schools — Tiny Incubators of Possibilities

“Often, when I talk about how I love teaching in my small rural district, many teachers find it hard to comprehend how few students there are (and, thus, staff). Our single-building district is just over 300 K-12 students in total (about 20–25 per grade level). That means we have one building with one teacher per grade or subject — which does pose challenges. But, it also presents great opportunities.”

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