Rural Neighbors

Breaking New Ground with Rural Communities

Sponsored by ADI and ICF

Cultivating Rural Education

Nearly one of every five US public school students, approximately 9.3 million, attends a rural school. Nonetheless, the experiences and needs of rural students—as well as of their teachers, school staff and administrators, and district leaders—can be invisible. There are several reasons for this. For example, some education leaders lack any firsthand experience of rural life or may not understand the challenges that rural schools and districts confront. Another reason is that the majority of rural students attend school in a state where they make up less than a quarter of school enrollment, so their needs may be less apparent overall.

See our services below, based on our book: Howley, C.W., & Redding, S. (2021). Cultivating rural education: A people-focused approach for states. Information Age Publishing.

Cultivating Rural Education

Our Services

Consulting, training, and technical assistance for state and local education and community leaders

A Rural Call to Action (state version) 

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A facilitated process through which a sponsoring state organization (an SEA, for example) assembles a Team of Cultivators (with representatives from state government, organizations and associations with an interest in rural education, and rural school leaders). Guided by experienced ADI and ICF technical assistance facilitators with both lived and professional rural education expertise, the Team of Cultivators meets for two days, implements a 90-day action plan, then reconvenes for a half day.

A Rural Call to Action (local version)

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Education leaders at county, school district, or regional levels may request an adaptation of the Rural Call to Action facilitated process for their locality. This option includes two days of learning, assessing, and planning and a follow-up session after the implementation period ends.

Implementation Support

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Sponsoring and participating organizations may request implementation support as they establish new initiatives. This additional service can include assistance with establishing and nurturing teams, planning professional development or TA processes, setting up strategic performance management processes and systems, or planning program evaluations.

Learning and Sharing about Rural Education

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Clients can request a half day or a full day that includes a facilitated presentation and discussion of rural education research and exemplary practices that research suggests has been helpful to address rural education needs and challenges. This offering is appropriate for any group interested in learning and sharing about rural education.

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Dr. Caitlin Howley at ICF

Dr. Sam Redding at ADI