In the Northwest region, 39 percent of schools are rural, compared to 31 percent nationally. While rural schools face many of the same challenges as those in urban settings, they also have unique characteristics that should be taken into consideration when carrying out school improvement efforts. In this Lessons Learned, we describe some of the factors that distinguish rural schools from each other, as well as from those in urban communities. We also provide recommendations for technical assistance providers and others from outside the community who are engaged in helping rural schools. Lessons Learned is a series of briefs based on Education Northwest’s research, development, and technical assistance activities conducted over more than four decades on the frontlines of transforming teaching and learning.