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About REL West

REL West serves four states: Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. To address the priorities and interests in these states, REL West works in partnership with school districts, state departments of education, and others to use data and research to improve academic outcomes for students. Each partnership focuses on one or more of the following four regional priority topics: educator development, early learning, postsecondary pathways, and support of the whole child.

WestEd is joined in operating REL West by our subcontracting partners:

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Carnegie Foundation
  • Decision Information Resources, Inc.
  • Jobs for the Future
  • Policy Studies Associates

Our Approach

While schools, districts, state and local support agencies, and other education stakeholders in REL West’s four-state region share many priorities, their specific challenges and needs for research and support can vary. Accordingly, REL West engages in systematic, ongoing assessment of regional education needs to determine how best to target research and provide research-based information, analysis, and analytic support. Our needs-sensing approaches include:

  • Actively soliciting input from state and local decisionmakers.
  • Analyzing data and policy trends.
  • Examining educator and policymaker requests for assistance.
  • Collaborating with regional Comprehensive Centers.
  • Working with our partners to determine unmet needs.

In response to the diverse needs and priorities of our nine partnerships, REL West engages in a broad range of work. Through in-depth training, coaching, and analytic support, we build the capacity of our partners to address a variety of issues. These include: tackling the complexities of cross-sector data sharing and data use; learning to make evidence-based policy and practice decisions; and addressing challenges that are context- and region-specific, including those unique to rural entities. In addition, REL West conducts applied research that is integrated with the training, coaching, and analytic support we conduct with our partners.

About the Director
Nikola Filby

Nikola (Nikki) Filby has directed research and development projects that have guided improvements in teaching and learning for over three decades. Under her leadership in the previous REL West contract, REL West produced 22 published research reports, developed video-based workshops, co-hosted events on topics such as trauma-informed practices, and assisted local improvement projects in all four states in the region.

Related Pages
About Our Region

The West Region—Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah—spans nearly 500,000 square miles, with more than 14,000 public schools, ranging in location from the very remote to the densely urban.

Governing Board

REL West's governing Board of Directors comprises leaders from public and private education, business, and human services communities. Our Board takes an active role in guiding the work of the program.