School Environment Listening Sessions: Final Report

Related Content
Institutional Author
U.S. Department of Education, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
Resource Type
Acquisition Number
Published Date
11-20-2015 2:54 PM
Published Year
Number of Pages
Subscription Only
To improve education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students, tribal leaders, educators, and Native youth called upon WHIAIANE to collect information on school environment experiences from teachers, parents, community members, and the students themselves. Tribal leaders and tribal communities wanted members of the initiative to hear about the challenges these students face in gaining high-quality education, with a focus on the quality of their school environments. To meet this need, WHIAIANE, in collaboration with OCR, worked with tribal leaders and communities to design and execute a series of nationwide listening sessions regarding the school environments of AI/AN students. In October and November 2014, nine gatherings were held in seven states from New York to California to Alaska. These sessions drew over 1,000 attendees in total and allowed WHIAIANE and OCR to gather information from all stakeholders in AI/AN education. WHIAIANE acted as a listener, allowing students and others to speak openly about their school environments. Throughout the sessions, the initiative collected information about the challenges related to school climate, including bullying, student discipline, potentially harmful Native imagery and symbolism, and the implications of all of these school climate issues. WHIAIANE found feedback from these sessions invaluable in forming its recommended next steps. The initiative further expects that information from these sessions will guide its future work and goals to address the unique and culturally related academic needs of AI/AN students and to ensure that they receive an excellent education. This report presents recommendations pertaining to the federal government and to states and local districts.
State and Local Policy
Professional Development
Office of Civil Rights
Native American and Alaska Native Children
Home Environment and Language Practices
Family and Community Involvement
Civil Rights Legislation
Administration and Leadership