Welcome to AIRSS.

Welcome to the AIRSS (Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools) web page. The Association was chartered in 1987 with the purpose of presenting a unified effort to promote educational excellence in rural and small schools in Illinois. In 1994, LOCON (Local Control) merged with and became an affiliate of AIRSS to solidify us as the ONLY statewide organization that helps to promote and enhance education in rural and small schools in every community and location of Illinois.


Our emphasis is to give identity, voice and recognition to rural and small schools and their local communities.


We are here for you!

Recent News - Rural Illinois School Receives National Blue Ribbon Award

The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools is proud to join the United States Department of Education in recognizing New Simpson Hill School District 32 as a National Blue Ribbon School – located in rural Tunnel Hill, IL.

Grant Opportunity:
Rural Schools Innovation Grant

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America and the Rural Schools Collaborative are pleased to announce a new grant partnership. The Rural Schools Innovation Grants program is available to rural school communities that are located within Compeer's designated 144 county region throughout Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (see map). RSC and Compeer are accepting applications through May 15, 2021.

Our Partners

Opportunity from Southern Illinois Community Foundation

Thanks to a generous donor, Southern Illinois Community Foundation and the United Way of Southern Illinois are pleased to offer a limited quantity of hand sanitizers for free to schools and nonprofits in Southern Illinois.


We will keep the request portal open until all hand sanitizer has been distributed.  You may request up to 25 cases in the first round. Beginning on May 13th, all remaining unclaimed cases will be awarded to those entities that indicate they will take more than 25 cases.


Each case has 6 bottles of 8 fluid oz. All distributions will be on a first requested first filled basis!

Contact Us

Contact us by form here, or click the Messenger Icon on the bottom left to send us a Facebook message.



Horrabin Hall #115G

Macomb, Illinois 61455



PO Box 292

Carmi, IL 62821

Executive Director

Dave Ardrey

Phone: 618.924.8218

Email: execdir@airssedu.org 

Social Media

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© 2021 The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools

On his recent visit to “The Hill” AIRSS Executive Director David Ardrey and first term Congressman Mike Bost share a lighter moment as they discuss issues that impact our rural communities and schools.