News Release: TSS to Expand Rural School Network

JACKSON, Wyo., September 15, 2018—Teton Science Schools (TSS) is excited to announce that they will expand initiatives to create a national network of public rural schools integrating education into the community through authentic, place-based learning. With a $1 million grant from Oakland, CA based NewSchools Venture Fund TSS will expand partnerships to create a network of public place-based rural schools. The network will continue to grow and establish new partnerships with rural schools and organizations to improve academic outcomes, student engagement, and community impact for students in rural communities.

Teton Science Schools two schools (Teton Valley Community School and Journeys School) based in Victor, ID and Jackson, WY are model place-based schools and will partner with educators from across the country to implement best practices of place-based education in K-12 learning. The network of rural schools that join will have access to sample curriculum, consulting and implementation, research to inform practice, and online communities. The network will grow to 50 schools serving more than 10,000 students in rural and underserved communities in the next three to five years. While the majority of schools will be public and rural, select independent or non-rural schools will be part of the network, to advance learning around the model in different geographies and demographics.

The concept of a network of place-based schools emerged from the learning of Teton Science Schools while building and running two schools in northwest Wyoming and eastern Idaho, a graduate program, field education programs and professional development and consulting for more than 50 years.

Nate McClennen, Vice President of Education and Innovation stated, “Rural schools often have incredible community assets and dedicated staff, but also may struggle with poverty, economic challenges, and access to the innovations and resources found in more densely populated areas. The goal of the Place Network is to build an innovative and replicable K-12 model to help all rural schools accelerate in partnership together to reimagine their rural futures.”

TSS will also be collecting data to improve the model and provide feedback to support continuous improvement of practices with schools in the network to better impact students across the country. For schools interested in learning more about joining the network, they can contact Nate McClennen, Vice President of Education and Innovation, nate.mclennen@tetonscience.org.

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