Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) — Appalachia

Appalachia Mountains

A partner in advancing equitable access and outcomes for learners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.


The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia partners with educators and leaders to engage in rigorous, change-oriented research and provides support that informs local, regional or statewide decisions about education policies, programs and practices. REL Appalachia provides services at no cost to state and local partners.

REL Appalachia builds capacity by:

REL Appalachia is 1 of 10 RELs funded by the Institute of Education Sciences to support a more evidence-based education system. The REL Appalachia team brings content and methodological expertise across a range of critical education topics and needs. Current activities are focused on the following topics.

Examples of how REL Appalachia has supported partners in the region:

Improving Postsecondary Transitions partnership

Rural educators need evidence-based practices to strengthen students’ successful postsecondary transitions. After finding few examples of practices that had been rigorously evaluated in rural settings, REL Appalachia designed and delivered a three-part training on promising practices. The team then supported partners to use a continuous improvement approach to systematically implement these practices. To address the root problem, the team joined with rural education leaders and researchers to host a webinar for policymakers and funders to encourage the engagement of rural communities in rigorous research, with the goal of building the knowledge base for everyone.

Student Success in Mathematics partnership

School division partners want to ensure all students have equitable access to and success in advanced mathematics courses, including Algebra I, in middle school. REL Appalachia conducted research to describe the current status of access and success in advanced mathematics courses in grades 7–9. We then designed a template for district staff to replicate the analyses regularly with their own local data. The team also provided training and coaching to local leaders, supporting them to develop professional learning models to improve mathematics teaching. This infographic, on how to embed research-based practices into professional learning for mathematics educators, shares resources derived from that coaching.

Clients & partners

  • Education Development Center
  • Erikson Institute
  • Insight Policy Research, Inc.

  • L-Evation, LLC
  • Magnolia Consulting, LLC
  • Plus Alpha Research & Consulting, LLC

Associated field of research

Associated SRI team members

  • Victoria A. Schaefer

    Victoria A. Schaefer

    Senior Principal Education Researcher and TA Provider, SRI Education

  • Mary M. Klute

    Mary M. Klute

    Principal Education Researcher, SRI Education

  • Aliya R. Pilchen

    Aliya R. Pilchen

    Senior Education Researcher, SRI Education

  • Katrina Laguarda

    Katrina Laguarda

    Senior Researcher, SRI Education

  • Laura Kassner

    Laura Kassner

    Senior Education Researcher and Technical Assistance Provider

  • Douglas J. Gagnon

    Douglas J. Gagnon

    Senior Education Researcher, SRI Education


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