What Is a Rural School?
Ultimately, the technical definition of a rural school corresponds to our general understanding of rural areas; they are characterized by geographic isolation and small population size. All schools are categorized into four locales by their size, population density and location. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) defines these locales by the school’s proximity to a city an “urban-centric” classification system. The four locale categories used by the NCES’ urban centric classification system are city, suburb, town and rural. Rural schools are then broken down into three subcategories based on theCensus Bureau’s definitions of urbanicity. Rural schools are also all classified as high need schools.