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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Parent and Community Engagement

May 6, 2013
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Brody Complex, MSU

Over 40 years of research has documented the positive impact increased family engagement has on education outcomes.  The EPFP Parent and Community Engagement Learning Team seeks to:

  • define parent involvement
  • describe common barriers to quality parent engagement
  • discover innovative strategies to improve parent involvement
  • explore how policy can support parent involvement

The afternoon will begin with a brief introduction to the topic by the Learning Team, continue with short presentations by community members actively involved in parent and community engagement, followed by a panel discussion between educational leaders and Fellows, and will end with an application task.


EPFP Learning Team Members:
Jeff Cole, Linda Howley, Madeline Mavrogordato, Melissa Staub, Steve Tapia
The following panelists have graciously agreed to participate:
Sherri Boyd, Director of Michigan Alliance for Families
Yvonne Caamal Canul, Superintendent, Lansing School District
Sergio Keck, Director of Instructional Support, Lansing School District
Tammie Jones, Detroit Parent Network
Jamila Martin, Detroit Parent Network
Ted Ransaw, Academic Specialist, MSU Office of K-12 Outreach
Molly Sweeny, Excellent Schools, Detroit
Shereen Tabrizi, Manager, OFS Special Population Unit, MDE
Lorraine Ware, Principal, Red Cedar Elementary School, East Lansing Public Schools

Guest Speaker bios: 

Sherri Boyd
Sherri Boyd is the State Director of Michigan Alliance for Families. This program is funded by the state of Michigan’s Office of Special Education- Michigan Department of Education and OSEP at the federal level (Michigan’s Parent Training and Information Center). This grant provides statewide support to parents navigating the special education system through Information and Referral, Training and Mentoring.
Yvonne Caamal Canul
 Yvonne Caamal Canul, EPFP alumna (1990-91) and former EPFP program co-coordinator (2004-06), serves as superintendent of the Lansing Public Schools. Raised in Latin America, Yvonne brings a rich “world-view” to her work of 38 years in the field of education as a teacher, school principal, director of curriculum and assessment, consultant for low-performing schools, a state department of education official, and as a corporate senior executive in the private sector leading an innovation division dedicated to research, education product development, and global strategic partnerships. Most recently Yvonne led the Michigan site for a Kellogg Foundation funded Early Childhood collaborative between Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina. Currently, she is serving as the Superintendent for the Lansing School District and has initiated a bold restructuring plan that focuses on research-based grade span cohorts. Yvonne has received numerous awards, among them are the National Educator Award presented by the Milken Family Foundation and the Human Rights Award given by the Michigan Education Association.
Sergio Keck
Sergio Keck is currently the Director of Instructional Support Programs for the Lansing School District. His areas of supervision include: State and Federal Programs, Bilingual Education, Preschool Services, Alternative Education, Indian Education, Adult Education and Parent Involvement. He has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director for various educational programs. Mr. Keck established a highly successfully Chinese-Immersion Program and a year later created a Spanish-Immersion Program at the elementary school level. In addition, he implemented an alternative blended model of instruction to provide options for disengaged high school students and to increase graduation rates. Mr. Keck is originally from Argentina and obtained his colleges degrees at Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University.
Tammie Jones
Tammie Jones (EPFP 2011-12) serves as the Director of External Affairs at Detroit Parent Network, where she manages the organization’s membership, marketing and communication, and policy advocacy efforts. Prior to this position, Tammie was a Council of Michigan Foundations Public Policy Fellow at The Skillman Foundation. There, she worked on policy and advocacy issues impacting the Foundation’s Good Schools work, with a particular focus on assisting in the development of the citywide education infrastructure and ensuring access to high-quality schools within the Foundation’s target neighborhoods. Before moving to Detroit, Tammie worked for more than ten years with the Boys & Girls Clubs in Virginia, helping to establish two new locations serving a combined 400 youth members. In May 2009, Tammie completed her MBA at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, where she was selected by her peers to receive the Frank S. Moran Leadership Award. Tammie currently serves as Co-Chair of YNPN Detroit and is an Advisory Board member for the Salvation Army, Eastern Michigan Division.
Jamila Martin

Ted Ransaw

Molly Sweeny

Shereen Tabrizi
Dr. Shereen Tabrizi is the Manager of the Special Populations Unit with the Office of Field Services at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Along with a team of consultants, Shereen oversees several programs including: English Learner, Immigrant, Migrant, Homeless, Neglected/Delinquent and ‘at risk students.’ In her current position, she has led cross-office committees that created a Parent Engagement Toolkit, and Program Planning and Evaluation Tools. Dr. Tabrizi spear headed the establishment of a statewide Migrant Parent Advisory Committee, improved statewide and local English learner and migrant education program plans, and streamlined processes and procedures for students. Dr. Tabrizi strengthened parental engagement in students’ education through parent training and outreach. She implemented comprehensive support systems for students and teachers by forming partnerships with institutions of higher education and community based organizations. Dr. Tabrizi has a degree in English Education, a master’s degree in bilingual education and learning disabilities (double major), and a Ph.D. in special education, educational evaluation and research. Shereen is a former president of the Michigan Association for Bilingual Education, and the Michigan Educational Research Association. Dr Tabrizi advocates for implementing comprehensive and equitable services that address the needs of the “whole child.”

Lorraine Ware


MDE Parent Invovement Fact Sheet

National Middle Schools Association Parent Invovement Research Summary

Draft Agenda

12:00-1:00       Lunch

1:00-1:30         Overview of the Issue --EPFP Fellows

1:30-2:45         Presentations on Innovative Strategies to Improve Parent Involvement

2:45-2:55         Break

2:55-3:55         Panel Exploring How Policy Can Support Parent Involvement

3:55-4:05         Break

4:05-4:30         Activity


Return to 2012-13 Calendar