Rural communities traditionally enjoy an intimate relationship between stakeholders and the local school system. While preliminary research exists to suggest rural school turnaround might be more likely to occur when a strong communal connection exists (Mette, 2014), little is known about rural school turnaround efforts serving predominantly Native American students. This article reports findings of a School Improvement Grants (SIG) funded effort to digitize curriculum and deliver instruction through the use of tablets in Yellow Pine, a school district on a Native American reservation in a rural, Upper Midwestern state. Data were collected through interviews with school and district leaders, as well as through teacher focus groups. Findings highlight the failure to engage a historically disenfranchised community from the beginning of the improvement process, particularly the lack of involvement of students, parents, and teachers, which in turn led to little impact on student achievement.

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