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REL Central

Putting Research into Action
The Regional Educational Laboratory Central translates research to practice with policymakers and practitioners in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

What’s New at REL Central


Upcoming Webinar: Integrating Program Evaluation into Your School Improvement Work: Exploring the Program Evaluation Toolkit

This webinar will explore ways to integrate program evaluation into your school improvement work using REL Central’s the newly released Program Evaluation Toolkit. Program evaluation is important for assessing the implementation and outcomes of state and federally funded programs. However, school and state education agency personnel may not have the resources and tools to conduct effective program evaluations. The Program Evaluation Toolkit includes a series of eight modules that begin at the planning stages of an evaluation and progress to the presentation of findings to stakeholders.


New Report: Examination of the Reliability and Validity of the Kansas Clinical Assessment Tool

This study examines the extent to which the locally built Kansas Clinical Assessment Tool demonstrates evidence of validity and reliability and meets requirements of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


New Report: Identifying Similar Schools to Support School Improvement

This guide outlines how the Nebraska Department of Education used a variety of characteristics to allow school and district leaders to more accurately understand how their schools are performing relative to their peers.

Latest from the REL Central Blog

REL Central Tool Can Help Early Childhood Education Professionals Optimize Their Data Use

The Early Childhood Data Use Assessment Tool was designed to identify and improve data use skills among early childhood education (ECE) program staff so that they can better use data to inform, plan, monitor, and make decisions for instruction and program improvement. This blog post discusses the importance of data use in ECE programs, especially in a post-pandemic learning environment.

Reframing Learning Loss: Nebraska’s Framework for School Renewal & Acceleration

In a special guest blog post, leaders from the Nebraska Department of Education share how the agency is reframing the narrative around “learning loss” and setting the stage for success in the 2021/22 school year and beyond.

New Guide Outlines Approach for Identifying Similar Schools to Support School Improvement

When evaluating your school’s performance, what’s the best way to identify institutions similar to your own? This blog post describes REL Central’s collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education to develop a dynamic and accurate approach for selecting schools to compare with one another as peers.

New Study Evaluates Access to, Participation Levels in, Dual Enrollment Programs in REL Central Region

To better quantify students’ ability to take part in quality early college learning opportunities in our region, REL Central conducted a seven-state study measuring access to and participation in dual enrollment programs. This blog post shares highlights from the study and discusses their implications for college and career readiness strategies in the region.

Works in Progress

Learn more about the research projects currently underway. More on our Works in Progress.


Ask A REL is a collaborative reference desk service provided by the ten Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) and functions much in the same way as a technical reference library.

Family & Caregivers

Image handout: Early Child Learning Math

Teaching Math to Young Children for Families and Caregivers

These family and caregiver resources and activities include research-based and easy-to-follow steps to help you support your child’s math skills.

Featured Publication

Teacher working with students in classroom.

Understanding Access to and Participation in Dual Enrollment by Locale and Income Level

This report presents information on patterns in dual enrollment access and participation for the 2017/18 school year in the REL Central states (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming) and the region as a whole and compares these state and regional patterns with national patterns. The report also reveals how dual enrollment access and participation varied with school characteristics, including school locale (city, suburban, town, or rural) and percentage of students from low-income households.

Featured Video

District-Level Strategies to Advance Equity in Career and Technical Education Programs

This REL Central webinar explores strategies to address equitable access, participation, and success in career and technical education (CTE) programs. The webinar also provides an overview of current research on the impact of CTE on college and career readiness while guest speakers from Rapid City Area Schools, Huron School District, and Portland Public Schools share insights into strategies they’ve been using to enhance and improve the CTE programs in their districts.

Featured Event

Improving Civic Readiness Through Research, Policy, and Practice

This webinar explores how students’ civic readiness can be developed and measured. REL Central provides an overview of research on recent trends in civic education and participation and shares their tool Measuring Civic Readiness: A Review of Survey Scales. Partners from the Wyoming Department of Education, Nebraska Department of Education, and Eugene 4J School District in Oregon also discuss how they are building civic readiness in their students at the state and local level through policy and practice.