Teaching in a rural and remote community can leave educators feeling cut off from the kind of collaboration and innovation that often happens in urban and suburban districts. At the same time, when smaller districts—many with an enrollment between 50 and 500 students—send teachers to statewide trainings, the challenges caused by isolation are not always addressed.
The Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network formed to create a sense of belonging among educators from rural and remote districts while focusing on honing classroom practice and increasing student engagement. At present, 20 districts from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington participate in network activities that include twice-a-year face-to-face convenings and year-long virtual opportunities to collaborate with other educators. (You can learn more about the project on the NW RISE page.)
A new three-minute video, produced by Education Northwest, features several NW RISE educators talking about their experiences and challenges and the benefits they have received from participating in the network.
Education Northwest’s Danette Parsley says that the video is meant to share member voices and perspectives on the need for and value of the network. “The video shows what NW RISE means to the educators who participate,” she says.
A five-minute version of the video is also available.
NW RISE is looking to grow its network by adding additional districts from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington that meet its criteria. For more information, contact Matthew Eide.
See our recent articles on NW RISE districts. Enhancing the Experience of Rural Students Through an Educator Support Network looks at Idaho’s Glenns Ferry School District. On the Road With NW RISE: Promoting Student Engagement in Rural Schools features the White Pass School District in Washington state.