Formal and informal partnerships between rural schools and their communities can provide a wide range of supports for all students, but particularly those from low-income families. In this analysis of six small rural school districts in Virginia we show how the broad participation of community groups and individuals supports academic achievement as well as preparation and aspirations for postsecondary education. Results demonstrate that school-community partnerships provide multiple points of contact for students that buttress the efforts of school personnel by extended educational opportunities outside the classroom and by meeting the needs of low-income students when parents and teachers are unable to do so.

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