October 22nd, 2021, Weekly Newsletter

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Register by October 31

We’re 3 weeks away from hosting the 2021 National Forum to Advance Rural Education, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome presenters and attendees from around the country. Nearly 600 rural leaders and practitioners (in-person and virtual) have already registered from 42 states!
For those who have already registered or if you’re thinking about attending for the first time, here are a few things we’re excited about and hope you will be, too.
250+ Presenters 
They’re researchers, K-12 practitioners, higher education faculty, policy leaders, and more from around the country, and they’ll be covering a wide range of topics with 140+ in-person and virtual sessions to choose from. 
Equity in Rural Life TED Talk Panel (Livestreamed)
Spark your thinking with this series of TED-talk-style presentations by nationally recognized experts who will focus on equity in rural life from the educational, economic/workforce development, and policy perspectives. Listen to their recent podcast episodes: Haley RichardsonDr. Christina Kishimoto, and Benjamin Winchester.
Q&A with Sarah Frey (Livestreamed)
Get to know the Pumpkin Queen of America, Sarah Frey as she shares about life as a rural farmer and business owner, and about her new book, The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--And Saved an American Farm. Sarah will also be available for an in-person book signing. 

2021 National Rural Teacher of the Year, Sponsored by DonorsChoose (Livestreamed)
Meet Laurie Smith, a fourth-grade teacher at SEM Public Schools in Sumner, Nebraska. After her award, she’ll speak about her passion and dedication to rural education and her students. Listen to Laurie’s recent podcast.
There’s still time to register, but don’t wait too long...deadline is October 31!
NFARE 2021 Annual Membership Meetting
2021 Annual Membership Meeting
Thursday, November 11th, 2021 
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM 
Room: White River J

The nominees will be introduced during the Annual Business Meeting of the Annual NREA Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  
2021 NREA Executive Committee Nominations
2021 NREA Executive Committee Nominations
The following vacancies on the NREA Executive Committee will occur in November. The nominations period will be through October 31st, 2021.

  • President-Elect Designate
  • NREA State Affiliate Rep (Director)
  • Rural Educator/Teacher (retired/active)

The nominees will be introduced during the Annual Business Meeting of the Annual NREA Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11th, 2021. (7:30 AM)

Would you please click read more to nominate a current member?
Read More
NREA Foundation Silent Auction/Reception
November 11th, 2021
4:45 PM 
Please remember to bring items for the silent auction. Please consider helping NREA spotlight and reward rural students, teachers, researchers, and leaders. For more information, please email us at nfare@nrea.site.

Sponsored by...

MSU rural education center receives $1.5 million grant for project to support rural teachers
MSU rural education center receives $1.5 million grant for project to support rural teachers
BOZEMAN — With the help of a new $1.5 million grant, Montana State University’s Center for Research on Rural Education has launched a comprehensive effort to help strengthen K-12 rural schools across the state.
The grant, from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, will fund a two-year project called “Advancing Support, Preparation, and Innovation in Rural Education,” or ASPIRE. The project aims to reduce the critical shortage of teachers in rural Montana, strengthen the teaching profession across the state and help ensure that Montana’s students are taught by well-prepared and -supported teachers.
“As our nation faces a teacher shortage of crisis proportions, rural communities in Montana have experienced increased difficulties recruiting and retaining well-prepared teachers,” said Jayne Downey, director of the Center for Research on Rural Education. “This past year, our rural schools and communities have labored to respond to the enormous challenges, difficulties, and loss brought about by the global pandemic, and the need for well-prepared and -supported teachers has become even more apparent. During this time, we were also able to witness the care, generosity, and resilience of Montana’s teachers who rose to meet the needs of their students inattentive and innovative ways.”
Read More
Relatively Good News Amid Covid-19 Rural Schools Emphasize Student Subgroups More Than Cities and Suburbs
Relatively Good News Amid Covid-19 Rural Schools Emphasize Student Subgroups More Than Cities and Suburbs
This study examined publicly available data from The Institution of Education Sciences (IES) survey of school leaders concerning modes of instructions offered and subgroups prioritized during the Covid-19 pandemic. We asked: Do national data regarding instructional modes (i.e., remote, hybrid, and in-person) during the Covid-19 pandemic reveal different approaches of U.S. elementary and secondary schools in rural areas versus peer institutions in cities, suburbs, and towns? Our analysis showed that schools in rural areas are more readily and equitably offering in-person instruction than schools in suburbs and cities, particularly in regard to students of color. Additionally, we found that rural school leaders report prioritizing English learners, students with identified disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, and students without home internet access at higher rates than their peers in urban and suburban schools.

  • Jesse Moon Longhurst
  • Michael Thier
Read More
It has been a great week attending and presenting at the MARE Fall Conference. Thank you to Kevin Sandlin, Dr. Ray Patrick, and Jerry Cochran. Their Executive Board and members serve and provide rural schools and communities an authentic voice in their state. Thank you for allowing NREA to help your efforts and your support of the national organization. 
Dear Rural Education Stakeholder,
To re-examine the National Rural Education Association's Research Agenda, we are writing to ask for your participation in a survey about your perspectives of issues that are critical in rural education. The survey is conducted by NREA's Research and Higher Education Committee and led by an Ohio University researcher under research protocol 21-E-264. We anticipate that the survey will take approximately 15 minutes.
If you have any questions regarding this study, don't hesitate to contact Sara Hartman at hartmans@ohio.edu or (740)593-0163.
Here is the link to the survey:
We very much appreciate your time and contributions to this research project!
Catharine Biddle, catharine.biddle@maine.edu  
Pam Buffington, pbuffington@edc.org
Sara Hartman, hartmans@ohio.edu
Erin McHenry-Sorber, ecmchenrysorber@mail.wvu.edu
Kessa Roberts, jkroberts@smu.edu
Sarah Schmitt-Wilson, sarah.wilson14@montana.edu
National Rural Education Podcast: The Rural Voice


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