ERIC Number: ED444780
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
How on Earth Did You Hear About Us? A Study of Exemplary Rural School Practices in the Upper Midwest.
D'Amico, Joseph J.
As part of ongoing research into rural school improvement, the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) at the request of its Rural Advisory Council set out to find, examine, and profile exemplary, successful school improvement programs in rural schools and districts in the upper Midwest. This paper is a summary of the first year results of a study that came from this initiative. In it are profiled four rural schools and the exemplary educational initiatives they have successfully installed and carried out. Federal Hocking High School (Ohio) adopted the "Coalition of Essential Schools" (CES) and "Expeditionary Learning-Outward Bound" programs and implemented block scheduling, multifunctional lunch periods, daily advisory meetings, team teaching, graduation portfolios, senior projects, and community internships. Dawson-Bryant Elementary school, a K-5 school in southeastern Ohio, adopted the "Success for All" model, which focuses on reading instruction, and invested in information technology equipment, wiring, training, and software. Northport K-12 school in Michigan also adopted the CES model, but its signature initiative was the senior projects program. West Liberty Elementary school (Iowa), a PreK-2 school, installed the first two-way Spanish/English immersion program in the state. Elements of success common to all these efforts were a school culture that was amenable to change and experimentation and that emphasized continuous improvement, reflection, and self-analysis; attention to principles of change; solid research, in some cases up to a year of research; local adaptation; and additional resources. Elements of rurality that assisted these reforms were eligibility for special consideration by grant-making agencies; small size, which enabled quick action; a sense of rural insecurity that acted as a motivator; and the integration of school and community. An appendix contains the data collection guide and rubrics. (Contains 25 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education Programs, Community Involvement, Cultural Awareness, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Participation, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, School Culture, School Districts
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Oak Brook, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A