NREA Weekly Updates: October 2nd, 2020

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NREA Resources COVID-19
NREA "The Rural Voice" Podcast Series
Become A Member of NREA Join Online
50 States in 50 Weeks:
Each week, NREA and the I Am A Rural Teacher Campaign share how vast rural America is. Check out our 50 States highlight on Facebook:

We now have a public-facing spreadsheet showing every state featured so far, where to see it, and a story from the state! Check it out:

We'd love to hear from you! Submit today at We are also still taking COVID-19 submissions: And we recently began accepting perspective for the Black Rural Teachers Matter Project:

Feel free to contact Hailey Winkleman, the NREA Advocacy Liaison for this campaign, at with any questions about submitting your story.
Cultivating Community
Cultivating Community
Throughout the last year, the I Am A Rural Teacher national advocacy campaign has shared the perspectives of teachers from across rural America. As more teachers have shared their stories, many have pointed out the importance of their small towns and country places in the sustainability of vibrant rural schools.
Aiming to further highlight the local policies and projects that connect rural educators to their communities, IAART is pleased to announce the launch of Cultivating Community. In this monthly spotlight feature, teachers can nominate their community to showcase the local policies, projects, and programs which strengthen the bonds between school and community.
Classroom teachers are invited to submit either a one-minute video OR a short written submission on a specific local school or community policy that has strengthened a rural school district and its students. Each month Cultivating Community will select one nomination to highlight via the social media of theI Am A Rural Teacher Campaign, National Rural Education Association, and Rural Schools Collaborative.
Teachers whose nominations are selected will receive a $250 classroom grant to further support their work of cultivating community, and they will be recognized in the feature on their rural school community.
The first feature will appear in October 2020, with new stories being shared on a monthly basis thereafter.
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Beyond the Tassel is a weekly podcast hosted by education equity advocate and rural communities champion, Craig Williams, featuring insider tips to help families and students prepare for the transition from high school to college. College isn’t for everyone but, on average, about two out of every three kids from rural communities wind up going to college. Our mission is to help rural kids make the most out of that process, helping them with the tools to gain admission to the schools of their choice and to help parents with strategies to make college more affordable. We know that kids from our rural communities are hardworking, smart, and motivated. But too often, they lack easy access to some of the tools and educational resources their suburban counterparts take for granted. Through this podcast, and our website,, we want to enhance the odds for young people from less populous areas to find success with their college admissions process and level the playing field for access to the nation’s top colleges and universities with that of their suburban counterparts.
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To help states retain teachers and recruit the next generation into the profession, this brief examines teacher compensation policies in states and how adjustments could help reverse teacher shortage trends. The report looks at teacher compensation packages as a whole, including data on salary, health insurance, retirement and other benefits. It also outlines moderate-, low- and no-cost strategies for states and districts to improve teacher working environments.
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CDC Virtual Forum: Recommendations on Safe School Reopenings, COVID Testing in Schools, and In-School Mitigation Strategies
CDC Virtual Forum: Recommendations on Safe School Reopenings, COVID Testing in Schools, and In-School Mitigation Strategies
NAESP is hosting a webinar with the CDC on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 4PM ET focused on the latest CDC recommendations of indicators for safe school reopening, COVID testing in schools, and effective in-school mitigation strategies. Please feel free to register and to share with your networks/members if you think it would be of interest.

Discussion topics:
• Testing in K-12 schools
• Monitoring & evaluation of mitigation strategies implemented in K-12 schools
• Mask in schools
• Holiday celebrations in schools
Rural Educator Weekly Spotlight:
Leveraging the Perspectives of Rural Educators to Develop Realistic Job Previews for Rural Teacher Recruitment and Retention
Leveraging the Perspectives of Rural Educators to Develop Realistic Job Previews for Rural Teacher Recruitment and Retention
Rurality is perceived by many to be a deficit or challenge when it comes to teacher recruitment and retention. However, recently, some have argued that moving away from a deficit model and treating rurality as an asset may hold promise for teacher staffing. Drawing on Person-organization (P-O) fit theory, we extend this argument in our study by investigating the perceptions of teachers from the rural Low country of South Carolina, a region with documented severe teacher shortages, concerning rural teaching advantages and challenges. These reflections provide the data necessary to develop realistic job previews (RJP) that can be highlighted in the teacher staffing process at their schools. To obtain the data, we conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with 11 rural teachers and one principal (n=12). Several common themes emerged, which we used to develop a sample web-based RJP content for demonstration purposes.
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The i4tl Center for Research and Innovation (C4RI) is a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen schools and communities through research and collaborative projects.

C4RI is undertaking new research into the role of state virtual schools in supporting rural schools and districts, examining:
  • What models exist for partnership between state virtual schools and rural schools or districts?
  • What metrics are being used to determine program success across the various partnership models?
  • How do these successful partnerships impact schools and communities?
  • What best practices from successful K-12 district and state virtual school partnerships can be scaled to other state-level entities, regional units, and other schools or districts involved in the same work?

C4RI is seeking success stories of effective partnerships between rural school districts and a state virtual school where the two entities worked to solve a common problem or to collaborate towards a common goal.

Elizabeth LeBlanc will be coordinating this part of our effort. Any rural schools, districts, or state virtual school partners with a compelling use case to share would be welcome to reach out to us at
Sharing Information From Our Partners and Sponsors:
NREA and WIN Learning Partner to Expand Career Readiness to Rural Communities

WIN Learning is proud to partner with the National Rural Education Association (NREA) to provide exclusive access to its WIN ATLAS Career Planning and Exploration mobile app to all member districts and promote career readiness for ALL.
WIN values the leadership and forward practices that NREA offers its member districts. Preparing students in rural communities for the real world with the skills and opportunities for high-demand career pathways is the focus of our premier partnership. Together, our mission is to prepare learners with work-based learning experiences and the essential skills that employers value and seek. 
NREA State Affiliates
NREA Virtual Conference Info
NREA Sponsors & Partners
The Rural Educator
Rural Ed. Instructional Support
NREA Foundation & Research Awards Announcements


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