The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has administered a survey to administrators and educators from 29 schools in the state to gauge how Native American students are being served.

The North Dakota Native American Education Needs Assessment is administered at the beginning of every school year.

The Institute of Education Sciences' Regional Education Laboratory Central, which serves Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, provided assistance to DPI in enhancing the survey this year. 

This year, DPI increased the number and types of questions. It also consulted with tribal educators representing the state's five tribes.

"The tools that we use to help our schools and students need to continually improve," said Lucy Fredericks, DPI's director of American Indian and multicultural education. "By working directly with educators in our Native American schools, we were able to hone the assessment to better support our Native American students and school educators."

Data from the survey will be used to write a plan to help schools address any challenges that were identified. A follow-up survey will be sent out later in the school year.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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