By: Cheryl D. Fields
Publication: Kellogg Foundation Program Echoes
MINNEAPOLIS—KLCC I fellows and their community partners in the Twin Cities recently celebrated the end of a more than two-year struggle to forge a pact between the local public schools and the area’s Indian community. The Memorandum of Agreement approved by the Minneapolis School board on Tuesday, Oct. 10, formalizes district efforts to improve relations with the tribal communities and institutionalizes the two sides’ commitment to work collectively to raise graduation rates of Indian youth who, despite modest improvement in recent years, are graduating from high school at a rate of 38 percent.
“This is a major accomplishment for our community and we’re extremely proud of the work the fellows did to help move this effort forward,” says Elaine Salinas, executive director of Migizi Communications, the host agency for KLCC in the Twin Cities.
The new commitment is guided by best practices research and includes an investment in staff development. Another key element of the Memorandum of Agreement is a commitment creating a more welcoming environment for Indian students, parents and community members.