NREA Weekly Updates: March 4th, 2022

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Become A Member
State Affiliates
NREA Podcast
Call for Presenters: NFARE 2022
Donors Choose
Donors Choose
Member districts,

Our friends at the charity DonorsChoosehave some exciting funding available for NREA members who act soon. Rural districts have already benefited from $120 million in new, free resources thanks to their national community of individual and corporate donors, and they are offering $1,000 to your district to support your teachers' classroom dreams.

Through their free District Partnership Program, DonorsChoose can help your teachers innovate, raise support from generous donors outside your community, and ensure every student has the resources for quality education.As an NREA member, you can join this program which will provide you and your administrative team with exclusive benefits like
  • advanced notice of funding opportunities,
  • automated data reports,
  • a district-branded landing page on the DonorsChoose site, and much more.

As a special incentive, DonorsChoose is offering to fund $1,000 in classroom projects for the first 20 districts that respond to this opportunity and apply to join the District Partnership Program. Simply mention NREA in your application (which takes <1 minute), and the DonorsChoose team will get you onboarded and provide a donation code so that you can directly support resources in your schools with the $1,000 donation.

To get started, sign up to become a free DonorsChoose partnerhere (and don't forget to mention NREA).

NREA State Affiliates: Kansas & North Dakota
Rural Education News
CEF Briefing on “Shortages in the Education Workforce”  
Rural America shrinks over decade for first time
Rural America shrinks over decade for first time
The number of Americans who live in rural areas declined in the last decade, the first time in history that the nation’s rural population dropped between one U.S. census and the next.
A new report from Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, finds the number of Americans who live in rural communities dropped by 289,000 over the last decade, or just about 0.6 percentage points, not much more than a rounding error among the 46 million people who live in rural areas.
But it marks a significant slowdown from recent decades when rural America added population. Between 1990 and 2000, rural communities added 3.4 million residents; those same areas added 1.5 million residents between 2000 and 2010.
Read More
The Rural Educator
Introduction for the special issue: Race and Rurality in Education
Introduction for the special issue: Race and Rurality in Education
In May of 2020, protests around the country and the world erupted to draw attention to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black individuals, as well as other Indigenous and People of Color. These protests prompted many individuals and organizations to reflect on their complicity in anti-Blackness and the structures, policies, and practices that create barriers for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the United States. We at The Rural Educator have been engaged in our own ongoing reflection on our work as a result of the global outcry
Read More
State of the Union- Education Analysis
Thanks to our friends at Education Counsel for sharing a summary document of the education elements of President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union Address.

New Chiefs for Change System-Level Student Wellbeing Data Review Tool
As part of their ongoing, collective work to support K-12 system leaders’ pandemic recovery efforts and their effective use of ARP and other available funds, Chiefs for Change released the System-Level Student Wellbeing Data Review Tool, produced in partnership with leading experts in psychology, public health, and education and alongside Chiefs for Change member systems. This tool leverages data to enable system leaders at the state level to formulate an evidence-based strategy to support overall student wellbeing by deepening inter-agency partnerships, assessing student needs, and identifying gaps in services. The tool is the latest in a series of resources that Chiefs for Change is producing this year to assist system leaders in addressing students’ mental health and wellness needs during and after the pandemic. It complements the District Student Wellbeing Services Reflection Tool released in January and will be followed by another resource outlining promising practices. Also released today, the source document,  Investment in Action: Telling the Story of How Federal Pandemic Recovery Funds Are Supporting Students, offers guidance on communicating about the programs funded by ARP and other Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) dollars, how systems can engage their communities, and how leaders are working to ensure transparency and accountability.  

Biden Administration Releases National COVID Preparedness Plan
Today, the Biden administration released a new National COVID Preparedness Plan to keep America moving forward safely and back to normal routines. The plan focuses on three key goals: protection against COVID-19, preparing for new variants, and preventing economic and educational shutdowns. Read more on the blog.

CDC Revises COVID Masking Guidance for Schools, Clarifies Mask Mandate on Buses
Last week, the CDC revised its guidance on masking for schools and community spread. They also clarified their position on mask mandates for school buses. Read the school-centered recap on the blog

U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America Competes Act
If you tuned into the State of the Union on Tuesday night, you probably heard the President speak about the “Innovation Act.” He was referring to the Senate’s bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) which was approved last June. On February 2, the House passed The America COMPETES Act, which is their response to USICA. The House and Senate will now begin to reconcile the two different bills with the goal to move a final legislative package soon. Most notably for K-12 education, both proposals include two grant programs. Read about it on the blog
New Newsletter: Mile Markers shares information about the Role of Colleges in Rural America
Mile Markers is a bimonthly newsletter about the role of colleges in rural America, including profiles of people and places worth getting to know a little better. It is written by Open Campus national reporter Nick Fouriezos, a Georgia native who has written from all 50 states and six continents. You can subscribe here

Typically the format is a dispatch from somewhere across the country, a quick news roundup, a more technical dive into data or ideas, and then a final section linking to people doing meaningful work in rural higher ed — grants, jobs, studies, etc. It's important to me for this to be a community space for discussion, so you and your readers shouldn't hesitate to send me links or ideas as you come by them!
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Rural Engagement in Art, Culture, and History (REACH.)
Rural Engagement in Art, Culture, and History (REACH.)
The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and Renwick Gallery, in Washington, DC, is starting a new 3-year initiative: Rural Engagement in Art, Culture, and History (REACH.) Through REACH, SAAM is expanding its distance learning program to support cross-disciplinary teaching of American art, culture, and history to underserved rural communities across the United States.
REACH will consist of various programs, while continually assessing the needs of rural constituents to determine how SAAM could help meet those needs. REACH is kicking off with a Summer Institute for Teachers consisting of 3 virtual workshops and 2 on-site (July 25-26) workshops in SAAM’s main building in Washington, DC. Attendees will receive $1,500 scholarships to support their learning. Priority will be given to educators from rural and underserved areas of the country. The deadline for applying is April 1, 2022.
For more details, please click on this link.
For more details on REACH, please contact:
Peg Koetsch, Education Specialist
Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery


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