Community Schools Can Improve Rural Education

The Rural Solution: How Community Schools Can Reinvigorate Rural Education

Center for American Progress

For the one in five students in the United States who attend a rural public elementary or secondary school, a variety of factors may affect their academic achievement, including funding shortages, teacher shortages and an inability to cater to youth with special needs. This report says rural schools need to incorporate a “full-service community” approach in order to provide their students with the tools to be successful.

While schools in rural areas differ in key ways (especially by economic conditions), the report says that some guidelines can be followed to overcome challenges through the development of community-based school models. This joint effort to provide academic, social and health services to students and families creates “results-focused partnerships [that] are based on identified needs and organized around a set of mutually defined results and outcomes.” The authors say the model promotes academic success, strengthens family involvement in the educational experience, and ensures better management of school resources and funding.

The study cites three examples of rural schools where the community model has been effective. At Owsley Elementary in Booneville, Ken., parents logged over 2,000 volunteer hours in the 2008-2009 academic year, taking a more active role in a school community that also helps families with clothing, food and transportation. Molly Stark Elementary School in Bennington, Vt., and Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, have vastly increased the health services available to their students at lower costs.

In order to implement and sustain the community-based model in rural schools, the authors say,  community leaders must develop new teacher recruitment strategies, promote parental engagement and lobby for federal and state funds.

Free, 44 pages.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top