I don’t know that I’ll ever forget the day I spent at Edisto Beach Elementary on Edisto Island in South Carolina.
It’s one of the smallest schools in the state on a rural slip of land just south of Charleston. And it was fascinating to see it in action.
Students of different grades learned in the same class. Teachers had a unique understanding of students’ learning styles and abilities because they taught the same students, year after year. Its test scores ranked among the best in the state, and there was a closeness among children and adults that only can come from living in such an insular community.
It was a great example of a rural school thriving during a time when so many others are struggling. The strained economy has meant difficult budget cuts for many rural schools, not to mention the day-to-day obstacles involved in staying competitive with their more urban and suburban counterparts.
As an education reporter for The Post and Courier in South Carolina, I’m familiar with the challenges facing rural schools, and I’m looking forward to learning more—with your help.
I hope this blog can be a place where rural schools’ difficulties and accomplishments are chronicled. I look forward to keeping readers posted on the latest news and national policy debates, and I want to offer examples of how those are playing out in schools nationwide.
Reader input is critical to making this blog as relevant and informative as possible, so please send me your ideas and suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.