Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center

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A Focused Look at Rural Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) released an evaluation brief focusing on nine School Improvement Grants (SIG) schools that were in rural areas and how respondents in these schools perceived their rural context to influence specific turnaround activities. Key findings that emerged from the rural case study data collected in spring 2012 include:

  • Although rural SIG schools reported some challenges that nonrural SIG schools have also reported, such as low student motivation and staff morale, the rural schools reported additional challenges resulting from their schools' remote locations and large catchment areas.
  • School and district administrators in eight of the nine schools suggested that long teacher commutes or isolated communities posed challenges to recruiting or retaining teachers.
  • School and district administrators and teaching staff in the nine schools mentioned multiple factors limiting parent involvement in school-based activities.
April 2014