This website was supported by contract number ED-IES-12-C-0003, the 2012-2017 Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Funding for this contract has expired and this website is no longer being maintained. Please visit the IES website for more information about the Regional Educational Laboratory Program.

Reshaping Rural Schools in the Northwest Region: Lessons From Federal School Improvement Grant Implementation


May 2016


Report cover

This REL Northwest study published by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) examines implementation of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) transformation model in rural regions, exploring challenges in implementation and technical assistance to support these efforts.

In analyzing the reported experience of 135 respondents from rural SIG schools in 42 states and from the Bureau of Indian Education, the study found:

  • Few rural schools fully implemented the SIG transformational model; on average the schools had fully implemented about half of the 12 strategies examined.
  • A larger share of schools implemented strategies to improve instruction than implemented strategies to ensure high-quality staff or parent and community involvement.
  • More strategies were implemented in schools that faced fewer challenges or received more technical assistance from the district, state, universities, or other organizations.

The report has implications for policy discussions about SIG implementation in rural schools and can inform changes in SIG requirements allowed in new, more flexible grant applications.

There are two versions of this report available for download on the IES website:
The full report published in May 2016
"Stated Briefly"—a synopsis highlighting key findings and implications