NREA Weekly Updates: March 5th, 2021

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NREA Resources COVID-19
NREA "The Rural Voice" Podcast Series
Become A Member of NREA Join Online
Scholar Exchanges - Live Classes on the Constitution
Part lecture and part lively conversation, our LIVE online classes are open to the public so that students, teachers, and parents can join in a constitutional discussion with National Constitution Center scholars. March’s sessions are all about the Equality Amendments, which expanded constitutional rights and freedoms to be more inclusive, and during the week of March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day, we will explore the 19th Amendment and Women’s Right to Vote.
19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote
Week of March 8
In this session, students will trace the roots of the women’s rights movement—from early reform efforts in the 1800s to the ultimate decision to pursue voting rights. This class will explore the constitutional arguments over women’s suffrage, study the historical context of the fight for suffrage over 70 years, and cover the tactics suffragists used to persuade state legislatures and the national government to recognize voting rights for women.
For Friday's session, Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history at The Johns Hopkins University, joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for a discussion on the 19th Amendment, with a focus on voting rights of African American women, a topic which professor Jones explores in her newest book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote and Insisted on Equality for All. Jones will also discuss her career as an author and historian, as well as answer questions from participants.
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Secretary Miguel Cardona
To our Nation’s Educators and Education Stakeholders:  

Thank you for giving your all for students during this unprecedented year.  
As the Commissioner of Education in Connecticut, I experienced firsthand the disruptions schools and communities faced as the pandemic unfolded. As a former teacher and principal, I understand how challenging it has been to work under these conditions. As a parent of a daughter and son in high school, I know how critical it is to stay engaged with students and to help them stay engaged in learning. And, as your Secretary of Education, I pledge to do everything I can to listen, to learn, and to act in the best interests of our nation’s students.   

Our top priority in the coming months must be to work together to safely reopen all schools for in-person learning, beginning with children in grades K-8. The data, and daily experience, show our children need us to find a way to take this step. My career experiences have taught me that education is primarily a state and local endeavor, and I know students, educators, administrators, staff, and families have performed heroically under these difficult circumstances to take steps toward reopening and to support students wherever they are learning. From a federal perspective, our role is to provide support, guidance, and directions on how to do it safely.  
I also know that leadership and support from the federal government is needed in the immediate and long-term – so you have the funds, facts, and guidance to make the best decisions for your students and communities. As part of this effort, the Department has released our COVID-19 Handbook Volume 1: Strategies for Safely Reopening Elementary and Secondary Schools, to help you implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s K-12 operational strategy. We’re working on the second volume, which will provide schools with practical implementation plans to address the extraordinary disruption created by COVID-19 for students, educators, and parents — especially for historically underserved students and communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.  
Together, we can ensure our efforts are always grounded in science and proven practices, so we do what is most effective for students and families. As we open classrooms, the health and safety of our students and educators must remain the highest priority. The research is conclusive: when they can do so safely, students are better off learning in school, in person, rather than remotely. The need is most acute in our underserved communities and among students of color, who have suffered disproportionately during this time.  
In Connecticut, we offered clear, expert-driven guidance and communicated with teachers and staff, administrators, parents, and students. We connected medical experts with schools and supported flexibility for districts to revise and revisit plans based on local health data. Our approach to tackling this issue nationwide must be the same.   
In addition to helping you create conditions in which students can safely return to the classroom, we’ll work to close the large funding gap between majority-white and non-white districts, improve teacher diversity, ensure teachers receive the support and respect they need and deserve, expand access to high-quality preschool, and support high-quality career and technical education.   

These ambitious goals and needed changes can only be accomplished if we remove silos in education, share our breakthroughs and successes, and cultivate schools and colleges as places of innovation. States have always been leaders of innovation, and the pandemic has spurred schools, institutions, and individuals to find new ways to meet students’ needs. We will capture and elevate those stories through a best-practices clearinghouse. And, I will always keep students at the forefront of all we do. (Here’s a video about the path ahead.)
I have full confidence in our shared ability, and in the power of our partnership. I want you to know that you have a strong advocate in Washington who is committed to communication, accountability, transparency, inclusivity, and results. Together, we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. We will empower our students as never before and equip them for the bright futures they deserve.   

Once again, thanks for all you do. I’m eager to work with you to help all students achieve their dreams.  

Secretary Miguel Cardona 
Apply Today for the 2021-22 National Signature Project Award!
Apply Today for the 2021-22 National Signature Project Award!
Thank you to the National Rural Education Association for co-sponsoring the 4th Annual National Signature Project grant.

The Rural Schools Collaborative is pleased to present the Fourth Annual National Signature Project, a $2,500 grant to an outstanding and innovative classroom project that exemplifies the very best in place-based education. The Fourth Annual National Signature Project award application is now open to any rural classroom teacher in the United States.
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The CDC Foundation is seeking participants for its focus groups with teachers located in rural areas.
The CDC Foundation is seeking participants for its focus groups with teachers located in rural areas.
This focus group is a component of the rapid monitoring and evaluation of school reopening strategies among K-12 schools. The purpose of the focus group is to provide the Foundation with information on how schools are implementing and adhering to COVID-19 prevention strategies, teachers’ motivations, ease, and/or difficulty with adherence, and innovation on how schools in rural areas are adapting to COVID-19 for improved social, psychological, physical health, and education outcomes.
The discussions will take no more than 1.5 hours and will be recorded only to make sure our notes are correct. The recording will not be shared outside this project. All participants' information will be combined and reported out without the use of names. Participation is completely voluntary, and you may choose to skip questions during the discussion. At no point will your name, school, or school district be associated with your comments. The results from the focus group may be used to inform future programming, funding opportunities, and guidance documents. The results may also help identify helpful practices that can be used for schools in rural areas. You will receive a $75 Amazon gift card for your participation.
If you are interested in participating in the focus group, please fill out this brief survey at Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT). We have a limited number of available slots and are looking to recruit a diversity of participants, so responses will be prioritized based on those first received and evaluated with a focus on creating a diverse group.
If you have any questions, please contact Gizelle Gopez, from Deloitte Consulting, LLC.
Thank you in advance and we look forward to hearing from you!
We the People: Civic Engagement in a Constitutional Democracy
We the People: Civic Engagement in a Constitutional Democracy
Gain a foundational knowledge of American constitutional democracy and understand how to encourage others to explore their own civic paths, while in parallel crafting your own civic voice and identity.
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Champions of Educating for American Democracy (EAD) and stand in agreement that K–12 education plays a pivotal role in ensuring the next generation is prepared to strengthen and sustain our constitutional democracy. These organizations support the EAD approach and the collective, cross-ideological expertise that has informed the resources put forth towards achieving this goal.
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Rural Educator Weekly Spotlight:
Meet the Editors and Advisory Board of The Rural Educator
Meet the Editors and Advisory Board of The Rural Educator

Devon Brenner, Mississippi State University
Erin McHenry-Sorber, West Virginia University
Catharine Biddle, University of Maine
Amy Price Azano, Virginia Tech, Promising Practices Editor

Social Media Coordinators
Natalie Downes, University of Canberra
Katie Dulaney, Penn State University

Editorial Advisory Board

Daniella Hall Sutherland, Clemson University, Chair
Maria Coady, University of Florida
Scott Ferrin, Brigham Young University
Hobart Harmon, Virginia Advanced Study Strategies
Kristina Hesbol, University of Denver
Bree Jones, La Veta School District RE-2, La Veta, CO
Glenn Lineberry, Arizona Student Opportunity Collaborative
Gerri Maxwell, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
Darris Means, University of Pittsburgh
Alex Red Corn, Kansas State University
Jennifer Seelig, The Spencer Foundation
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OCRE Federal Rural Education Policy Event: Featuring NREA Members
OCRE Federal Rural Education Policy Event: Featuring NREA Members
Organizations Concerned About Rural Education (OCRE) is proud to host its annual federal rural education policy event. During this half-day virtual event, attendees will get an overview of the issues facing rural K-12 schools, administrators, teachers, and students as our public school system continues to recover from the pandemic. An abridged agenda of the summit is listed below. To access the full details of the summit - including the tentative session descriptions and speakers - please click here.
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Rural Topics
Redefining “Nonmetro”: What Does the Proposed Metropolitan Area Definition Change Mean for Rural America?
Redefining “Nonmetro”: What Does the Proposed Metropolitan Area Definition Change Mean for Rural America?
The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Outside Metropolitan Areas Definition is often used as a proxy for “rural” areas. This designation is also frequently used by federal and state agencies to distribute billions of dollars in federal resources and make policy decisions. OMB has proposed modifications to the Metropolitan Area definition that could substantially impact rural communities. Join the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) for an analysis of the proposed plan and discussion on its potential impacts on rural America.


The staff of nonprofits, federal, state, local and tribal government, and quasi-government entities working in rural affordable housing

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand the nature of the proposed change to the OMB Outside Metropolitan Area definition.
  2. Learn how the change will affect rural areas.
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Rural Superintendent Search
Nevada Association of School Boards
Nevada Association of School Boards
The Nevada Association of School Boards announces the opening for the position of Superintendent of Mineral County School District located in Hawthorne, Nevada.

Below are a few details about the district and how to apply for the position.

Student Enrollment: 558 Students
Full-Time Staff: 100
Budget: $9.4 million

Salary: The Board will offer a salary range of $135,000 - $160,000 dependent upon experience.

Position Opening Flyer: More details about this position and the District can be found at this link: MCSD Brochure

Deadline to Apply: March 25.

To Apply: Complete the application form found at and submit with application packet content requested on the application form and brochure.
Sharing Information From Our Partners and Sponsors:
STEM resource Learning Blade and the Backpack app
STEM resource Learning Blade and the Backpack app
There was a lot of interest in learning more about the online STEM resource Learning Blade and the Backpack app that allows rural students to work offline, so I asked them to schedule a couple of webinars on different dates if you, your membership, or other partners would like to tune in, as it will be open to anyone interested. March 11th at 4 PM EST and March 16th at 12 PM EST. The registration link for both dates is below. Feel free to share with anyone you think might be interested in an online STEM resource with activities and career exploration, as well as the Backpack app for students without internet at home. If you have any questions, feel free to ask here or my email is
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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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