NREA Weekly Update May 8th, 2020

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2020 National Signature Project Grant
NREA "The Rural Voice" Podcast Series
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New York is This Week's Featured 50 States in 50 Weeks.
New York is This Week's Featured 50 States in 50 Weeks.
Each week, NREA and the I Am A Rural Teacher Campaign share how vast rural America is. Check out our 50 States highlight on Facebook: facebook.com/iaartcampaign

Are you a NewYork rural teacher? We'd love to hear from you! If you're from another state, your feature is coming soon, so submit today at http://bit.ly/iaartsubmit.

We are also asking rural communities to share how COVID-19 is impacting them and how teachers and teacher-leaders are adapting. You can share yours here: bit.ly/iaartcovid

Feel free to contact Hailey Winkleman, the NREA Advocacy Liaison for this campaign, at iaartcampaign@gmail.comwith any questions about submitting your story.
S01E11 -- The Rural Teacher Experience, an Interview with the National Rural Teacher of the Year Award Winner, Wade Owlett
S01E11 -- The Rural Teacher Experience, an Interview with the National Rural Teacher of the Year Award Winner, Wade Owlett

In this episode of the Rural Education Association Podcasts, the cohosts interview Mr. Wade Owlett, a 5th-grade teacher at Clark Wood Elementary School in Elkland and recipient of the Pennsylvania Rural Teacher of the Year Award as well as the National Rural Teacher of the Year Award. He received the award on October 12, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. In this interview, Mr. Owlett shares his experience with teaching online in the new normal of COVID-19. He shares both the process as well as social challenges in teaching remotely. Mr. Owlett shares his concerns about the emotional development of his student when not in a face-to-face classroom. He discusses the various options that were available to teachers and school districts following social distancing and online learning, including curricular development, enrichment, teaching, and grading. social distancing and online learning, including curricular development, enrichment, teaching, and grading.
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Angela Ford, Homer, NE Rural roots help you flourish
Angela Ford, Homer, NE Rural roots help you flourish
I am teaching at the school I graduated from. I went to school in Homer from Grade 3-12, and graduated in 1993. My daughter went there and graduated Valedictorian. My son is a current student and my niece and nephew are current students. I would say the best gratification as a Rural Teacher is that you get to see kids go from just the beginning to becoming young adults. The amount of success you see makes your heart so full. It is great to go back to a place and see students succeed in an environment you grew up in and flourished. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
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Heather Nebesniak, Ord, NE Meal deliveries despite weather advisories
Heather Nebesniak, Ord, NE Meal deliveries despite weather advisories
We are asking rural communities to share how COVID-19 is impacting them and how teachers and teacher-leaders are adapting in the face of nationwide school closures. Read below for a perspective from Superintendent Heather Nebesniak of Ord, NE. You can share yours here: http://bit.ly/iaartcovid
We had never run an alternate food program in our District before. I am very proud of the Nutrition Services, my Administrators, and my team. Within 24 hours we were able to work with our Nutrition Services Program and NDE to have meals ready to go. With our area being in a Winter Weather Advisory and Blizzard Warning at that time, we did three days of lunches and breakfasts for almost 400 students and this kicked off our daily meals. We are now serving/delivering 350 breakfast and lunch daily to our students. We have pick-up at one site in town and then drive to two other locations in other towns for our students to get meals.
In many districts, teachers and other staff formed a car parade past students’ homes. In Ord, the families formed a car parade past the school to let the school staff know how much their efforts are appreciated.

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State By State Business Reopening Guidance
State By State Business Reopening Guidance
Across America, business leaders are restarting our nation’s economic engines and employees are returning to work. However, this process is taking place gradually and non-uniformly across the country depending on regional differences in the prevalence of COVID-19.
In some states, for example, masks are required; in others, they’re suggested. In some states, mask requirements apply only to employees, while in others, customers must wear them, too. In some states, employers are required to screen employees before shifts begin; in others, it’s required after each shift. In still others, it’s not required at all. Meanwhile, some states are leaning on questionnaires, but even then, the questions and retention rules vary.
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10 Questions for Equity Advocates to Ask About Distance Learning
10 Questions for Equity Advocates to Ask About Distance Learning
Across the country, school buildings remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These school closures are a stark reminder of the important role that schools can play in the lives of children and young adults. For many students, schools are a place of stability, where they can learn, grow, and nurture relationships. They are even a source of daily meals for many students.
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Global Teletherapy: Free Webinar May 13th @ 2:30 EST.
Global Teletherapy: Free Webinar May 13th @ 2:30 EST.
Learn about tele-therapy and the positive trends on the horizon for K-12 students during these uncertain times.

SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM APPLICATION AND PERFORMANCE PERIOD EXTENSIONS
SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM APPLICATION AND PERFORMANCE PERIOD EXTENSIONS
In recognition of the widespread school closures faced by school districts nationwide due to COVID-19, the Department has extended the deadline for eligible school districts to submit applications for FY 2020 Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) funding. SRSA is one component of the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP). The REAP program is designed to help rural districts that may lack the personnel and resources to compete effectively for Federal competitive grants and that often receive grant allocations in amounts that are too small to be effective in meeting their intended purposes. The Department will now accept SRSA applications until the end of the day on May 15, 2020. For more information on the SRSA application process, please see the SRSA Notice of Application Deadline in theFederal Register.
In addition, in order to increase flexibility for SRSA grantees, the Department has extended the performance period for all SRSA grants awarded in FY 2019, and all subsequent SRSA awards, by an additional 12 months. Starting with FY 2019 funds, SRSA grantees have 27 months to obligate SRSA grant funds. As a result, the obligation (spending commitment) and liquidation (drawdown funds from G5) deadlines for FY 2019 SRSA funds are extended 12 months, to Sept. 30, 2021, and Dec. 30, 2021, respectively. SRSA grants awarded in FY 2020 will have an obligation deadline of Sept. 30, 2022, and a liquidation deadline of Dec. 30, 2022.
FY 2020 RURAL AND LOW-INCOME SCHOOLS ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
The REAP team has updated the fiscal year (FY) 2020 master eligibility spreadsheet for the Rural and Low-Income School program, the other component of REAP. The REAP team also disseminated a letter to Chief State School Officers explaining the FY 2020 eligibility criteria.
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In Search of Good Rural Data: Measuring Rural Prosperity MAY 1, 2020 • COMMUNITY STRATEGIES GROUP
In Search of Good Rural Data: Measuring Rural Prosperity MAY 1, 2020  • COMMUNITY STRATEGIES GROUP
Economic and demographic data drive research, policy development, distribution of government resources, and private investment decisions. But many of the datasets that policymakers, practitioners, and researchers rely on to understand and guide resources to rural communities fall short in representing rural realities. Given the increasing attention to rural areas in public policy and popular discourse, along with notable trends disadvantaging rural places—persistent poverty and global economic shifts—this search for “good” rural data is timely.
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