Schools in North Dakota will measure student engagement with a survey provided by Cognia. The Cognia Student Engagement Survey (SES) measures three types of engagement: engaged, compliant, and not engaged. The 2023-2024 Student Engagement Survey (SES) window was opened January 15 and closed February 16, 2024. During this year's survey, schools can get support directory from Cognia via their online help website or their customer support number, 1 (888) 413-3669. 

This year, our goal is 95% student participation rate on the survey to help ensure the results best represent the school. Schools will only receive accountability points for 'committed engagement' and will not be penalized if they do not reach the 95% participation goal.

With questions regarding SES administration, please contact the Office of School Approval & Opportunity at (701) 328-2236 or the Cognia Help Desk.

Past SES data can be found on ND Insights.

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Cognia has developed a comprehensive, 30-page guide to aid schools in the administration of the Student Engagement Survey:

Additional Resources:

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Thesaurus for Students with Accommodations

Grades 3-5 Survey

Survey Wording Alternate Wording
Bother Trouble
Excited Happy
Extra More
Important Major
Learning Goals Plans
Nervous Scared
Okay That's Fine
On Task Focus
Pretend Act Like
Proud Glad
Task Work


Grades 6-8 Survey

Survey Wording Alternate Wording
Learning Goals Plans
Participate Join In
Peers Friends
Recognized Known
Statement Sentence
Wanders Gets Lost
Picked on Bullied
Behavior Actions


Grades 9-12 Survey

Survey Wording Alternate Wording
Apply Involve
Concept Idea
Expectations Goals
Participating Joining In
Requirements Work
Learning Goals Plan
Peers Friends
Picked on Bullied


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Student Engagement Survey Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the survey be given to students?
A: The survey administration window will be open from January 15 through February 16, 2024. Each district will determine the best time to administer the survey to their students during this window.

Q: How do Student Rosters get updated?

A: The schools make the necessary student additions/deletions in PowerSchool.  Starting on January 15, the updated information will be pulled nightly and the student rosters will be updated within 48 hours.

Q: What is the purpose of the Student Engagement Survey?
A: The NDDPI is determined to provide its schools and districts with better information about student learning to support their continuous improvement efforts and improve teaching and learning.  The Cognia Student Engagement Survey collects direct feedback from students regarding their learning experiences; results for schools help leaders and teachers understand what students need for their success. The 2023-24 results will be used to calculate each school’s School Quality Indicator which accounts for 30% of an elementary or middle school’s overall rating and 20% of a high school’s overall rating for the 2023-24 school year.

Q: Which students are included in the survey administration?
A: All students in grades 3-12 who are actively enrolled in a North Dakota school during the survey window should participate in the survey administration.

Q: How will students access the survey?
A: The survey is administered online to students statewide. Each student will enter his/her unique login credentials to access the survey that was developed for his/her grade level. The NDDPI, in conjunction with the North Dakota Information Technology Department (NDIT), will provide your school's Student Engagement Survey coordinators the unique login credentials for each rostered student.

Q: How long is the survey and will students be asked demographic questions?
A: There are 21 questions in the survey. Students will not be asked any questions related to their gender, race, or religion.

Q: Will a transfer or new student have to take the survey?
A: Each student will only take one student engagement survey. Because this is a statewide survey, if a student transfers from another North Dakota school where he or she already has taken the survey during the current administration window, they will not have access to take the survey again. If during the survey administration window, a student transfers from a school outside of the state, or he/she did not previously take this year’s survey while at another school/district within the state, they should take the survey. If this new student does not have access to the survey, he/she should inform their teacher.

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Sample Family Communication Language

It is recommended, but not required, that schools reach out to parents with communication regarding the Student Engagement Survey before the administration window opens. Below is a sample of recommended language for your school's parent notification letter:

Dear Families,

We want to share with you an important opportunity for your child(ren) to impact and improve their school culture and learning environment. Student engagement is an important predictor of student success. North Dakota is committed to understanding, through the voice of students, how we can best support their engagement and success in learning.  Students in grades 3-12, will have the opportunity to share information about their educational experiences and perspectives through the statewide Student Engagement Survey between January 15 and February 16, 2024. This survey is not a graded test; there are no correct or incorrect answers.

Participating in the survey provides your student(s) an opportunity to have a voice in their education. We take student privacy seriously therefore the data collected and analyzed will be at the school level. Individual student results will not be reported. We will not identify your child(ren) and how they responded to the survey.

Summary feedback across all students will be provided to teachers and leaders in order to support professional development and continuous improvement at your school and district.  Statewide student survey results will also be used by the state to report school quality as part of the state’s accountability system.

The survey has 20 brief questions. We encourage you to talk with your child(ren) about the survey and let them know the importance of answering the questions honestly.  The collective responses of all participating students will help schools learn what they do well and what they can do better to help all students succeed.

An accompanying Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document is provided for your information. If you have additional questions, please contact your school principal.

Please encourage your child to engage with us in this important effort. We look forward to your child(ren) participating in the Student Engagement Survey.