To gather information about school climate in the 2007 National Indian Education Study (NIES), school teachers and principals were asked questions about school curriculum and activities. These included the extent to which American Indian/Alaska Native traditions and culture were integrated into the academic curriculum and the frequency of visits by community representatives to share such traditions and culture.
In this indicator, school density refers to the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled. Low-density schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for less than 25 percent of the total enrollment. High-density schools are schools in which American Indians/ Alaska Natives account for 25 percent or more of the total enrollment.
Teachers were asked about the extent to which they integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum. When compared to 4th- and 8th-grade American Indian/Alaska Native students attending low-density schools, higher percentages of students attending high-density schools had teachers who reported that they integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum at least once a week.
At grade 4, school administrators of 31 percent of students attending high-density schools reported that representatives from the American Indian/ Alaska Native community visited their schools to share traditions and culture three or more times in the school year, compared to 9 percent in low-density schools. A similar pattern between high-density schools and low-density schools was seen at grade 8. Administrators of 26 percent of 8th-grade students attending high-density schools reported that opportunities for tribal or community representatives to share traditions or culture occurred three or more times in the school year, compared to 7 percent for low-density schools.
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