CROWN POINT - Crown Point Central School in Essex County has joined 50 rural schools as a part of the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks, an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.

The district will have the opportunity to apply the Proving Ground model of evidence-based improvement to address chronic absenteeism, college readiness and college enrollment.

“Our School District has seen so many gains, but there is still work to be done on some issues like chronic absenteeism and college readiness,” Principal Tara Celotti said in a news release.

“We are very honored and excited to have been chosen to participate in this consortium.”

Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, the initiative will produce tools for identifying students most at risk for absenteeism and being unprepared for college and will change management resources designed to guide rural schools in addressing those issues.

Throughout the five years, the center’s member districts will collaborate on shared challenges, learning from each other to guide future work on school improvement.

“The network brings together our expertise in strategic management and analytics and our partners’ expertise in supporting rural students,” Bi Vuong, Proving Ground director and NCRERN interim director, said in the release.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with districts committed to learning with us and sharing their expertise with each other.”

Applicants were chosen based on alignment between the district’s strategic goals and the work of the Center, capacity to utilize data for decision making, commitment to continuous improvement practices and geographic distribution.

“The districts selected to be part of the National Center for Rural Education Research Network deserve congratulations,” Capital Region BOCES District Superintendent Anita Murphy said in a statement.

“Their selection represents a uniquely valuable opportunity for them to bring the power of evidence and the Proving Ground improvement model to bear on some of the most pressing issues facing rural districts including chronic absenteeism and college readiness and enrollment.”

Crown Point Superintendent Shari Brannock added, “As part of our work with the National Center for Rural Education Research Networks, our district hopes not only to learn from other rural districts but to share with them ideas for promising evidenced-based practices we have found success with. We look forward to this opportunity for our district.”