The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools (AIRSS) has been supporting public education in rural communities for nearly forty years (since 1982). The organization recognizes that historical and recent challenges have impacted rural and small schools. We are committed to be nimble and effective in our work on behalf of our members.


In 2014 the AIRSS strategic/marketing committee and its President, re-repositioned the organization to create an active grassroots approach to supporting small and rural schools in Illinois. The shift in focus was to actively engage AIRSS as the voice for all rural and small schools and take a direct roll in the work of state policy.


We recognize the necessity to be proactive and engage our stakeholders to the best of our ability. Our efforts to address the needs, issues and concerns of our pk-12 rural and small schools are driven by three goals:


  • ADVOCATE – To advocate for better policy to improve the quality of life (the Rural Advantage) unique to rural and small communities while preserving local control.


  • VOICE -To provide advice, counsel and testimony to governmental agencies, private entities and members of the Illinois General Assembly, the Executive branch and federal legislators on all matters concerning education in rural and small schools.


  • ACCESS – To elevate teachers and students access to quality educational opportunities in all Illinois rural and small schools.


Our future is bright, watch for more to come on the history and past accomplishments of AIRSS.