About Us

Development of RSA

The Rural Schools Association was founded in 1978 following a statewide conference sponsored by the Council on Rural Education and the Rural Regional Education Association (now NREA) to consider the special concerns and needs of the rural and small school districts of New York State.

Upon recommendation of conference participants, the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, agreed to provide housing, financial assistance, liaison and supervision for the program. The RSA office has been assigned responsibility to serve the rural and small school districts of this state -- a state containing one of the largest rural populations in the nation. A significant percentage of the student population of this state is enrolled in rural or small school districts.

Goals and Objectives

  • To assist districts in liaison with state and national governmental leaders and with officials of rural interest organizations.

  • To conduct research pertinent to small and rural school districts and to disseminate results to the membership, the public, and to decision-making bodies.

  • To assist members to develop organizational policy at state and national level.

  • To provide service and information to district members relating to staffing, curriculum, in-service training, instruction, and general school management.

  • To provide a clearinghouse function and promote communication among members of the program.

  • To conduct regional and statewide conferences concerning the broad issues facing RSA members.



The Rural Schools Association is governed by a Board of Directors representing ten zones within the state. Each zone selects delegates to represent its specific region. Additional members are appointed by organizations affiliated with RSA, and up to five members may be selected at-large. Currently, some forty delegates comprise the board.

Zones Members With:                              Delegates

1-10 Member Districts                                     1

11-25 Member Districts                                   2

w/26+ Member Districts                                 3

Organization Members:                           Delegates

NYS School Boards Association                     1

NYS Council of School Superintendents      1

NY Congress of Parents and Teachers          2

NYS Education Department                           1

NY Farm Bureau                                               1

NY Grange                                                         1

Cornell University                                             3

The Board of Directors meets three times annually. Executive and ancillary sub-committees are appointed to provide guidance and management assistance to the RSA Executive Director.