Appalachia Rising

Welcome to this year’s FIRE Summit:

Finding Innovation in Rural Education

This year’s Summit is a celebration of the powerful and compelling learning taking place across the east Kentucky region that is driven by you, hundreds of committed educators and thousands of learners.

The overarching mission of the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative (ARI) is to lead and direct catalytic systemic transformation that improves student success through innovation in systems design, resource use, and human capital development. When combined, these innovations contribute to the resurgence in educational excellence taking place in the Appalachian region.

Renaissance membership consists of KVEC, member public school districts and collaborating partners in east Kentucky and across the United States. ARI’s geographic footprint is an area approximately the size of Connecticut that includes districts bordering on West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee and serves over 45,000 students and approximately 2,700 educators.

KVEC member districts and ARI collaborating partners have a strong commitment to sharing professional learning and engaging other committed educators in an open discourse to discover innovative solutions to common and unique challenges.

ARI is propelled by a commitment to design a system that is SIMPLE (without being simplistic), STRENGTH-BASED, and fiscally SUSTAINABLE. The design emphasizes that locally generated solutions, informed by relevant scholarship, result in system-wide continuous improvement, and a perpetual process toward excellence driven by committed leadership.

The RTT-D program supports bold and locally directed improvements in leadership, teaching and learning that will directly improve achievement. ARI serves as an innovation laboratory for public education with an emphasis on rural communities.

The east Kentucky region is experiencing a Renaissance that is being led by YOU, and by school systems, educators, students and community members. The work underway is a significant and catalytic model that will inform and support other communities working to dramatically improve educational outcomes for students in rural schools nationally.