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About REL Central

Regional Educational Lab (REL) Central partners with key stakeholders in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Standing Rock Reservation, and Wyoming to develop evidence that can inform consequential decisions about policy, programs, and practice. Key stakeholders include organizations with decision-making authority and the ability to influence education policy and practice, such as state and local education agencies, school boards, institutes of higher education, and student, family, and community organizations. RELs partner with these organizations on applied research and development; training, coaching and technical supports; and dissemination. Click here to learn more about the REL Program.


The goal of this partnership is to accelerate student math growth and proficiency in North Dakota. Learn more
Mitigating teacher shortages in Wyoming
This partnership works with Standing Rock educators to improve student interest in math relevance, math achievement, and cultural identity. Ultimately, culture-based instruction may help increase student connection and access to Dakota/Lakota thinking and knowledge. Learn more
REL Central will work with core district leaders and a subset of district schools to better understand what factors may contribute to or hinder student success in grade 9 math. Learn more
Supporting elementary readers in Nebraska
This partnership will work closely with Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) to support sustainable, systematic organizational change by helping KSDE revitalize Individual Plans of Study (IPS) practices to effectively help prepare students for postsecondary education and the workplace. Learn more
Supporting young children with disabilities in South Dakota
This partnership will work closely with Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) to promote increased diversity within the teacher workforce by helping CDE and CDHE to examine the teacher pipeline and pathways and use this information to improve the recruitment and retention of teachers of color. Learn more
This partnership works closely with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and select school districts across Missouri to enhance mentoring and other supports for early-career teachers so that they are more likely to continue teaching in their district. Learn more


REL Central is led by Mathematica with support from the following partners:

  • RMC Research
  • Kauffman & Associates
  • Policy Research in Missouri Education Center at Saint Louis University
  • Central Regional Education Association
  • Fomat Consulting
  • Global Learning Partners
  • NWEA


The REL Governing Board helps REL Central prioritize the education needs of the region, provides strategic guidance on REL work to maximize local effectiveness, and leverages members’ regional networks to amplify and disseminate REL products. REL Central Governing Board members represent diverse expertise and experience.

This technical support project will help Ritenour School District develop approaches to examining the perceived working conditions of various groups of and analyze their relationships to teacher retention.

This technical support project is intended to help University City improve teacher retention by building a stronger understanding of strengths and potential gaps in their supports for new teachers.

This study will will leverage data from MO DESE’s spring 2023 first-year teacher surveys to understand the features of mentoring experienced by Missouri first-year teachers and which mentoring features are related to the retention of early-career teachers.

This technical support project will provide professional learning supports to help Standing Rock educators build their capacity to develop lesson materials that harness community and cultural knowledge and support student learning.

This technical support project consists of a series of trainings to increase state and local educators’ understanding of how to plan for successful differentiated instruction. REL Central will provide educators with an overview of the evidence base and will facilitate discussions that support them to incorporate these learnings in revising or refining their plans for implementing differentiated instruction.

No projects at this time.

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