Perhaps you've heard about the Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs), and you've seen invitations to partner and connect, but you aren't sure what that might entail.
REL Appalachia is one of 10 RELs funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the nation's leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation, and statistics. Each REL has a team of experts ready to collaborate with educators and leaders to collect, create, and implement evidence-based solutions specific to local challenges.
In this blog post, we provide an overview of how REL Appalachia joins forces with educators and leaders in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to strengthen the education system and improve opportunities and outcomes for all learners. We also provide concrete examples of products that have resulted from our partnerships to spark your thinking about how REL Appalachia can serve your needs.
What does REL Appalachia do to support regional partners?
REL Appalachia partners with educators and leaders across the region to engage in rigorous research, coaching, and technical assistance that are change-oriented. The REL Appalachia team never swoops in with a pre-packaged solution. Instead, we partner with educators and leaders who have the most insight into a persistent educational challenge to co-design a set of activities, always grounded in research, to improve teaching and learning. When our projects are complete, our partners have greater capacity to sustain the efforts without us because they've been involved in every step along the way!
How does REL Appalachia support capacity-building?
REL Appalachia builds the capacity of partners by:
How does REL Appalachia capacity-building look in action?
Here are examples of ways we've supported our partners throughout the region:
How can REL Appalachia support your local or state educational needs?
The REL Appalachia approach to outcomes-focused partnership is:
Our staff bring content and methodological expertise across a range of critical education topics and needs to co-design and co-implement partnership activities. In 2022, we launched the following seven partnerships, and our work will evolve over time to continue to meet the needs of the region:
For nearly 60 years, the RELs have collaborated with school districts, state departments of education, and other education stakeholders to help them generate and use evidence to improve student outcomes.
REL Appalachia is deeply committed to supporting educators in our region. Whether you have the time and energy to tackle a large project, or if you just have questions about what research says on a particular challenge you're facing, we want to hear from you. Engage with us in whatever ways make sense for you to improve outcomes for your learners.
Kori Hamilton Biagas