What is the Rural School Leadership Context?
For many, the term rural conjures up idyllic images of tranquil landscapes far away from the hustle and bustle of busy urban settings. These images may be of small villages nestled in the valleys of a northwestern mountain range or of midwestern farms with red barns surrounded by corn fields. In order to understand the impact being situated in a rural setting has on schools and their communities, and to meet the educational needs of children living there, it is necessary to begin our study of rural school leadership development by understanding what is meant by the term rural. The United States Census Bureau's definition is based on not only the number of people in a specified location, but also on a combination of population density and other measures of land use to circumscribe that which is urban. In the United States, a large percentage of public school districts can be classified as rural.