Each year the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) seeks to better understand the strengths and specific needs of the schools serving Native American students. The Native American Needs Assessment is conducted every Fall by NDDPI and asks questions of teachers and administrators in 29 schools that predominantly serve Native American students. The assessment helps the state discover areas of strength and celebration, establish commonalities across districts or schools, and determine priorities for school support. 22 administrators in schools serving large proportions of Native American students responded to the 2022 survey. It is important to note this sample size might not be representative of all administrators in schools serving Native American students and the survey results should be interpreted with that in mind.

School Climate and Attendance

Administrators believe teachers provide an inclusive learning environment.
Considering teachers in their district or school, administrators reported that:

  • 96% believe all students have access to technology to complete homework
  • 95% provide a safe and positive learning environment
  • 91% treat all students respectfully
  • 86% use instructional practices to promote equity

Administrators report that they provide support focused on student attendance. Of the administrators surveyed:

  • 86% engage with families to support student attendance
  • 82% implement programs to support student attendance
  • 59% report parent engagement supports student attendance
  • 55% receive tribal support with student attendance

Administrator respondents reported teachers in their school or district:

  • 91% establish caring and trusting relationships with students
  • 82% hold high expectations for all students
  • 82% seek to engage parents and family members in supporting their child's learning
  • 64% feel valued and respected by students, parents, and administrators
  • 64% are culturally responsive to the needs of students

North Dakota Senate Bill 2304

In 2022, most administrators were aware of Senate Bill (SB) 2304, but fewer were aware of the NDDPI-developed resources available to them. Passed in 2021, SB 2304 prioritizes teaching Native American history, but only a minority of schools (32%) reported using the resources to support SB 2304. Administrator respondents reported:

  • 77% are aware of SB 2304
  • 55% are aware of the resources provided on the NDDPI website to support SB 2304
  • 32% of their school is using the resources to support SB 2304

Parent, Family, & Community Engagement

Administrators reported engagement with their communities and local tribes. Of the respondents:

  • 55% participate in local tribal events
  • 50% report their school engages the community to connect youth to culturally appropriate Native American culture and tradition

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Administrators are concerned about teacher recruitment and retention in their schools and districts. However, most do not have programs to address these needs. Of the respondents:

  • 91% are concerned about recruitment of high-quality teachers
  • 91% are concerned about retention of high-quality teachers
  • 32% have a specific program for recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers

"It was no surprise that our great North Dakota teachers hold high standards and care about their students, and we were encouraged by how many teachers serving Native American students are interested in receiving further resources to better integrate Native culture into their classes"

- Lucy Fredericks, Director, Office of Indian/Multicultural Education

Administrator Survey Results from 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022*

(*the survey was not conducted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings (NDNAEUs)

Administrators reported a decreased awareness of the NDNAEUs and noted their teachers need support to integrate the NDNAEUs content. Of the administrators surveyed, they reported:

'18 '19 '21 '22 Description +/-
61% 65% 72% 50% having decreased levels of awareness of the NDNAEUs -22%
0% 7% 17% 41% teachers integrating NDNAEUs in their curriculum and instruction +24%
6% 7% 28% 36% teachers prioritizing NDNAEUs content in their classrooms +8%
0% 7% 17% 32% increase in teachers' confidence in implementing the NDNAEUs in their classroom +15%
60% 37% 78% 55% a challenge to implementation is uncertainty about how to integrate with teachers' content areas -23%








Professional Development

Administrators and teachers are receiving more PD to support the unique needs of Native American students. Administrators reported increases in schools:

'18 '19 '21 '22 Description +/-
63% 81% 84% 100% receiving PD that is aligned with the needs of their school +16%
25% 60% 50% 64% offering PD that is culturally appropriate and responsive to the needs of Native American students +14%
25% 60% 61% 73% offering teachers PD opportunities to support Native American students +12%
31% 72% 61% 68% providing administrators PD that is inclusive of a variety of stakeholders +7%
28% 22% 22% 23% having teachers participating in NDNAEUs PD offered by NDDPI +1%
- 50% 50% 50% providing teachers with sufficient professional development to use culturally competent strategies for teaching Native American students -










Culturally Responsive Instruction

Teachers reported increases in integrating culture into instruction, but saw declines in integrating current issues. Administrators reported the following changes in teachers providing culturally responsive instruction daily or weekly:

'18 '19 '21 '22 Description +/-
22% 44% 28% 41% integrating culturally appropriate Native American culture and tradition into instruction +13%
6% 41% 34% 24% integrating current issues affecting Native American people and communities into content  -10%






Schools continue to improve in cultural responsiveness after slight declines from 2019 to 2021. Administrators reported the following changes in schools
using culturally responsive strategies daily or weekly:

'18 '19 '21 '22 Description +/-
28% 40% 23% 36% providing opportunities for student engagement and/or connections to Native American culture and community +13%
23% 20% 12% 18% engaging in a productive dialogue with the Native American communities +6%
56% 71% 61% 64% providing instruction in Native American languages +3%







"We have put out best foot forward in finding ways to best support our Native American students."     - Survey Respondent

The North Dakota Needs Assessment Action Plan helps address areas of opportunity. For support, contact the Office of Indian/Multicultural Education.