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Citation:Boethel, M. (2000). Thriving together: Connecting rural school improvement and community development. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. ED451020.

This guide is designed to help rural schools and communities learn ways of supporting each other so that both can thrive. Its premise is that by working together, schools and their surrounding locales can improve student motivation and achievement. It provides background information and basic tools that schools will need to begin joint school-community development and connections. It includes tips on building effective teams and addresses sensitive issues that could arise, such as liability, compliance with laws and regulations, and confidentiality. Its tools can be used to help strengthen the bond between students and the communities in which they live, build studentsÕ capacity to be good citizens as well as good workers, and strengthen community resources in supporting rural schools. This publication provides practical help and advice in English and Spanish and is targeted for rural communities and schools. However, some of the concepts of partnership and collaboration may be useful for more urban areas as well.

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