Participatory Evaluation empowers those who are closest to the matter to take the lead in the evaluation. Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) launched the Parent Participatory Evaluation (PPE) program in the fall of 2018. By partnering with parents from five culturally-specific groups (African American, American Indian, Hmong, LatinX, and Somali), MPS engages parents to identify opportunities for improvement and partner on innovative solutions that best reflect the priorities of our community. Minneapolis Public Schools staff shared this emerging practice for family engagement and empowerment, and how it resulted in community-led institutional change, including within special education.
This webinar provides an overview of the Parent Participatory Evaluation program structure and process, as it exists within the MPS Equity Framework, to facilitate community-led systems change in a public school district. The presenters shared how parents adapted their methodologies for their community, what they found, and how MPS has changed as a result of these community-driven recommendations. Strategies identified in this webinar can be applied to any system improvement effort on multiple levels.
About the Presenters:
Amanda Dionne is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians born and raised in the Twin Cities. Graduating from Augsburg College in 2011 with a Business Economics and Business Management Degree, her career has been devoted to creating positive change within Minnesota’s American Indian communities. Serving two years as an AmeriCorps member at the Native American Community Development Institute and then spending many years partnering with tribal communities to change the narrative of cancer outcomes at the American Indian Cancer Foundation. In her position at Minneapolis Public Schools as an Engagement, Education and Outreach Specialist Amanda works to strengthen partnerships and connectedness with American Indian families.
Maren Gelle Henderson currently serves as an Evaluation Specialist for Minneapolis Public Schools, where she oversees the Youth and Parent Participatory Evaluation programs and provides evaluation support for the district's Full-Service Community School sites. She is committed to empowering youth and parents as leaders and decision-makers. She holds a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has also worked for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and Page Education Foundation.