This two-week, open writing institute resembles Invitational Summer Institutes that have been a staple of writing projects across the United States for several decades. K-12 teachers enjoy the benefits of a professional learning community with others who are interested in improving their understandings about using writing to support students’ learning as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. Because the most effective teachers of writing know how writing works for themselves, participants also develop an awareness of themselves as writers and of writing as process. Various digital writing tools, which enhance students’ motivation and interest, are used.
In 2012, the first RRWI was held with participants from Tigerton, Marion, and Clintonville Districts. Because of the strong success of that offering, a second Rural Institute was offered in 2013 again hosted by the Clintonville Public Schools. Other partnering districts in 2013 were Tigerton and Seymour. The 2012 and 2013 Rural Institutes were led by Dr. Jess Gallo, formerly an English teacher in the Shiocton School District, but now in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Montana Missoula; Greg Kehring, Instructional Support Staff, Oshkosh Area School District; and Callie Cochran-Hager, English teacher at New London High School.