NREA Weekly Update

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NREA/NREAC Legislative Agenda
NREA "The Rural Voice" Podcast Series
Become A Member of NREA Join Online
Share your research about rural education issues – submit a research session proposal!
Since the conference is virtual, research sessions will be different from years past. All research sessions will be pre-recorded and made available as on-demand content for viewing during and post-conference. Research sessions can be up to 30 minutes in length.
We will select a limited number of researchers who submit research session proposals to showcase their work during day one of conference programming.
Research session proposals are due July 31, 2020, and we will send acceptance notifications in mid-September. If we accept your research session proposal, there is a requirement that you register for the conference.
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To Submit A Research Proposal
Call for Research Proposal Instructions
50 States in 50 Weeks:
Each week, NREA and the I Am A RuralTeacher Campaign share how vast rural America is. Check out our 50 States highlight on Facebook:

Are you a Tennessee ruralteacher? We'd love to hear from you,Tennessee Rural Education Association! If you're from another state, your feature is coming soon, so submit today at

Feel free to contact Hailey Winkleman, the NREA Advocacy Liaison for this campaign, at with any questions about submitting your story.
The Tennessee Rural Education Association
Tennessee is proud of its rich history of strong, rural communities. Currently, 49% of school districts in Tennessee are located in rural communities. From agriculture to energy to entrepreneurs, the work of Tennessee’s rural communities impacts citizens throughout our state and nation.
Tennessee Rural Education Association (TNREA) is committed to helping strengthen and transform rural education in the state of Tennessee. Successful rural schools play a vital role in the economic development of Tennessee's communities. Helping students access opportunities to prepare them for college and careers can attract jobs regionally and statewide. By doing this, rural schools can create a talent pipeline for current students to stay in their communities and be tomorrow's teachers and leaders.
Bottom line: when rural students are successful, we all benefit.
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Now accepting proposals: A $600,000 U.S. Department of Education challenge to advance technology education
Now accepting proposals: A $600,000 U.S. Department of Education challenge to advance technology education
TheRural Tech Project is a $600,000 challenge to advance rural technology education and prepare students for the careers of today and tomorrow. The U.S. Department of Education invites high schools and local educational agencies to propose technology education programs that use competency-based distance learning.
This open innovation challenge will empower educators with resources to create technology education programs that are customized for their students and local needs. By advancing technology skills development, rural communities can help their students prepare for rewarding career opportunities.
Proposals are due October 8. Up to five finalists will progress to Phase 2 and each receive an equal share of the $500,000 cash prize pool, on-the-ground-assistance, and access to virtual resources. One grand-prize winner will receive an additional $100,000.Register for the July 21 virtual information session to learn more.
Video Launch for the CA Rural Ed Network
Video Launch for the CA Rural Ed Network
The vision of the CA Rural Ed Network is to communicate what is unique and positive about rural education and to identify priority areas and resources in order to increase the opportunities for California's rural students, schools and communities.
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The mission of the Small School Districts’ Association is to provide relevant information and proactive assistance to small school district governing boards and superintendents through legislative advocacy, collaboration, professional development, and support services.
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Rural Educator Weekly Spotlight:
Lessons Learned from Online PLCs of Rural STEM Teachers
Lessons Learned from Online PLCs of Rural STEM Teachers
This exploratory study of a Title II grant funded project analyzed the design and delivery of online professional learning communities (PLC) for rural STEM teachers. This research identified the frequency a video posting, the type of videos posted, and the style of reflection questions, as critical aspects to the engagement to participating teachers. Additionally, teachers showed an increase in teacher efficacy as a result of being part of the online PLCs and they indicated strong enjoyment and value in participation of the program.
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Rural Broadband & School Reopening
How the politics behind rural internet access leave parts of Indiana ‘in the dark ages’ By Stephanie Wang and Dylan Peers McCoy
How the politics behind rural internet access leave parts of Indiana ‘in the dark ages’ By Stephanie Wang and Dylan Peers McCoy
Before the coronavirus crisis, schools in hilly, forested Brown County, Indiana, didn’t expect students to work online at home.
Even with a growing fiber network in the area, too many families couldn’t connect to the internet, and those who did often used hot spots or unreliable connections. So schools used workarounds: Students did their assignments offline at home and logged on once they got to school to upload work, said Superintendent Laura Hammack.
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The Hunt Institute: Reopening School Buildings July 17th at 1:00 PM Eastern.
The Hunt Institute: Reopening School Buildings July 17th at 1:00 PM Eastern.
Homeroom with Education Leaders: Reopening School Buildings
July 17, 2020 at 1:00pm ET
As we get closer to the fall, when students would normally be getting ready to return to their physical school buildings, states, districts, and schools are thinking through what school spaces will look like. How will we enforce social distancing? How do we offer supports for students and staff who may be at greater risk? How do we coordinate transportation? Superintendent Tony Thurmond of California and Deputy Superintendent Colt Gill of Oregon will address these questions and more.

K–12 Student Digital Divide Much Larger Than Previously Estimated and Affects Teachers, Too, New Analysis Shows
K–12 Student Digital Divide Much Larger Than Previously Estimated and Affects Teachers, Too, New Analysis Shows
Southern states have largest divides, but even among states with smallest divides, 25% of students lack adequate internet connection
SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2020 —With the prospect of another distance learning school year on the horizon due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new analysis released today finds that a full 15 to 16 million public school students across the United States live in households without adequate internet access or computing devices to facilitate distance learning. The analysis, from Common Sense and Boston Consulting Group, also finds that almost 10% of public school teachers (300,000 to 400,000) are also caught in the gap, affecting their ability to run remote classes. The 32-page report, Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning, fixes a one-year price tag of at least $6 billion and as much as $11 billion to connect all kids at home, and an additional $1 billion to close the divide for teachers.
"This new report shows that not only is the distance learning gap larger than previously estimated but that too many teachers are caught in it, too, and it will require significant and immediate investments from Congress to close it," said James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "This new data and analysis further highlights the urgency for policymakers, educators, and private companies to address this basic educational equity issue that affects kids in every state. Our report makes clear that during this age of distance learning, we have to act right now to close the digital divide that is leaving millions of kids behind."
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Information From Our Partners
Virtual Personal Growth & Professional Development

Following months of isolation, fear, and a loss of volition, the country was devasted with a new trauma. The chronic disruption of a global health crisis disproportionately impacting our minority communities, fueled the acute trauma of a publicly televised murder. This most recent act of social inequality and human degradation led to a series of protests, rioting and civil unrest. The further polarization requires action by our schools to prevent continued ethnocentrism and racism. Under the umbrella of psychosocial emotional and moral learning, we can support your community as it engages in this challenging work.
  • Learning Engagement System (LES)
  • Create own virtual PD & Webinars
  • Live monthly webinars
  • Revenue generation
  • Manage users - assign topics, generate reminders
  • Logins/ Permissions for parents, students, and educators
  • Generate reports & certificates of completion
  • Expert content
Your dedicated district portal comes loaded with expert content including mental health, SEL, equity and more for your faculty and families: These virtual engagements are created by nationally recognized figures such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Susan Craig and Dr. Jared Scherz.
  • Mental Health
  • SEL
  • Equity
  • Trauma
  • Immunity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • COVID-19 Crisis
Pertinent subjects are delivered in brief, engaging increments through stimulating videos, motion graphics, animation, and more. Activities, resources and test questions are provided for professional development topics. To see a sample Portal:

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Inequities in quality education limit the access of American public school students to tomorrow's job opportunities that increasingly require STEM literacy.
The STEM Ed Innovators Fellowship is an online, mentored, professional development program for STEM teachers, offering breakthrough STEM teaching principles for immediate deployment in the classroom.
STEM Ed Fellows become more self-assured in teaching, increase their professional empowerment, benefit from an experienced mentor, learn from a talented community of peers, and develop confidence in their ability to achieve better outcomes in their classrooms.
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NREA State Affiliates
NREA Rural Ed Resources
NREA Sponsors & Partners
The Rural Educator
Rural Ed. Instructional Support
NREA Foundation & Research Awards Announcements


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