Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Karen Buchanan, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Gary Sehorn, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Linda Samek, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to identify the meanings that one community, in an isolated part of a Northwest town in the United States, associated with their remote school. This study applied, in part, the portraiture method within qualitative research, inspired by Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot. Narratives were constructed in partnership between the participants and the teacher-researcher to illuminate themes such as community relationships, trust, being known, communication, family involvement, and challenges associated with living in a rural, remote setting. Educational challenges currently face many students and families as the effects of COVID-19 influence them. One such impact is mobility within the United States. As of February 2021, nine million people in the United States have relocated. As employers offer opportunities for employees to work remotely, families are choosing to relocate to less populated areas such as suburban areas with larger homes equipped with home office space and larger yards for their children. Lower population density is highly sought after by those shifting to rural communities. The advantages of the slower pace of life and natural social distancing are measured against limited educational opportunities for children in settings with small school budgets. There is an opportunity for research into the future of rural schools in light of this migration, and innovative ways to serve students in rural communities again. More exploration is needed into family perceptions, expectations for their involvement as they relocate to these rural communities, and the preparedness of teachers and administrators where the rural landscape may be shifting.

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