Rural school districts must attempt to collaborate to mitigate rural challenges, such as high costs and shrinking educational opportunities, according to a recent report.
The Ohio-based nonprofit Battelle for Kids studied rural district collaborations across the country as well as academic studies to identify models for collaboration and the impact those partnerships have had.
The report found that most districts with partnerships prioritize the following strategies:
• Sharing resources: Some district groups share technology, teachers and other staff members, and programs to ensure that all students have access to sufficient academic opportunities.
• Advocacy: Some rural districts that have partnered publish press releases and policy briefs about issues that impact rural schools.
• Curriculum design: Some districts share assessments, curriculum, and professional development opportunities that help teachers roll out state standards and connect with other educators.
• Preparing students for college and career: Several rural districts have paired with foundations or nonprofits and applied for grants to expand Advanced Placement courses, help students pay for dual enrollment courses, and offer college and career counseling to students.
A version of this article appeared in the February 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as Rural Schools