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News Release

Institute of Education Sciences

Today, a guide based on the work of North Dakota education stakeholders and leaders to develop a culturally responsive Native American student needs assessment and action plan was released by the Institute of Education Sciences. The guide, written in part by Lucy Fredericks, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s director of Indian/multicultural education, will provide other states across the nation with a step-by-step process that incorporates Native stakeholder involvement in the development of questions and resources.

“Through this new guide, I’m hopeful that the great work of North Dakota Native stakeholders and others will help ensure that the needs of all students, including Native American, are met across the country,” said Fredericks.

The Guide to Conducting a Needs Assessment for American Indian Students, developed in conjunction with the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central, was designed to help state and local education agencies conduct needs assessments to better understand the strengths and challenges unique to schools serving American Indian students. It includes surveys developed collaboratively with communities that serve American Indian students to reflect the most relevant topics. Using results from these surveys, the guide provides examples of how to develop an action plan of resources and target and monitor improvement efforts that reduce gaps in outcomes between American Indian students and other students. However, perhaps most important, it gives a method to ensure survey, analysis, and action plan results are in line with the culture and goals of the communities they are being developed for.

The guide is based on the efforts to create the culturally relevant and responsive Native American Needs Assessment and action plan currently in use in North Dakota. That assessment and plan is credited in helping to increase Native student graduation rates and improve student outcomes.

“Regional Educational Laboratory Central is honored to have had the opportunity to work so closely with North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and stakeholders to develop this culturally responsive guide for states looking to better support their Native American students,” said Kerry Englert, a Regional Educational Laboratory Central researcher and co-author of the report.

Read the guide by clicking here.

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