Exploring the Link between Rural Schools and Community Vitality
AbstractThis project focused on the connection between a community and its schools, and the role that schools play in rural community vitality. It investigated both community members and former student experience with small schools in one rural area of Ontario, Canada. Community responses indicate that rural schools play a considerable role in the well-being of community members; former student responses indicate similar themes. Results indicated a strong link between local schools and components of the Canadian Index of Well-being. Discussion focuses on the gap between the role of schools in rural communities and the provincial policies on school closures, and how the findings suggest that new approaches to the challenges of small rural schools are in the best interests of both students and communities.