Parent homework: School home visits

3 Jan

Moi wrote in Missouri program: Parent home visits:

One of the mantras of this blog is that education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be involved. Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well. A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Class Matters http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/
Teachers and administrators as well as many politicians if they are honest know that children arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Teachers have to teach children at whatever point on the continuum the children are.

Jay Matthews reported in the Washington Post article, Try parent visits, not parent takeovers of schools:

A modest program in Missouri — similar to one in the District — has found a way to help parents improve their children’s education. But nobody is paying much attention.
Instead, something called the parent trigger, the hottest parent program going, has gotten laws passed in four states even though it has had zero effect on achievement. The Missouri program, the Teacher Home Visit Program or HOME WORKS!, trains and organizes teachers to visit parents in their homes. It is quiet, steady, small and non-political. The parent trigger, begun in California by a well-meaning group called Parent Revolution, is also authorized in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana and is deep into electoral politics. Both the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns have embraced it…. Few parents have the free time or experience to take charge of a school and figure out which of the many competing ideas for change are best. They are at the mercy of school promoters and local school bureaucrats and unions. It is hard for them to agree among themselves what they want. Their good intentions get them nowhere.
The first two attempts to use the trigger in California have been stymied by lawsuits and political quarrels. Anyone who understands the dynamics of public schools in a democracy knows the trigger is never going to get parents what they want
Home visits are different. They don’t require that parents figure out how to fix an entire school. Their only responsibility is to help teachers improve the learning of their own children, something they are uniquely qualified to
The nonprofit Concentric Educational Solutions Inc. START PROGRAM has been knocking on parent doors in the District for two years and has has started to do the same in Delaware and Detroit. The group says it has reduced truancy by as much as 78 percent. Teachers naturally wonder whether they have time for after-school visits, but the group’s executive director, David L. Heiber, says what they learn from parents can save many hours in class. With full staff participation, the most visits they might have to do in a year is 15, producing better attendance and more attention.
The Missouri HOME WORKS! program operates in 15 schools in the St. Louis area. Teachers, paid for their extra time, are trained at the end of the school year and beginning of the summer. The first round of summer visits allows teachers and parents to get to know each other and share what they know about students’ interests and needs. A family dinner for all wraps up the summer.
The second round of training sessions and visits comes in the first semester before the end of daylight saving time. The teachers explain to the parents where their child is academically and provide tools to increase their capacity to help their child. There is another family dinner, and sometimes there is a third round of visits in the spring.
A study by the St. Louis public school system last year of 616 home visits found that the third- to sixth-grade students involved had an increase in average math grades and that the grades of students not involved declined. A study of 586 home visits in the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District showed students involved had better attendance.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/try-parent-visits-not-parent-takeovers-of-schools/2012/05/30/gJQAlDDz2U_story.html

The key ingredient is parental involvement. The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (Council) has a great policy brief on parental involvement.

In Parents As Partners in Early Education, the Council reports:

Researchers generally agree that parents and family are the primary influence on a child’s development. Parents, grandparents, foster parents and others who take on parenting roles strongly affect language development, emotional growth, social skills and personality. High quality early childhood programs engage parents as partners in early education, encouraging them to volunteer in programs, read to their children at home, or be involved in curriculum design. Good programs maintain strong communication with parents, learning more about the child from the family and working together with the family to meet each child’s needs. Some ECE programs include occasional home visits as a way of maintaining a relationship between the program and parents. These approaches are the more typical, standard way of involving parents in early childhood programs.
http://www.wccf.org/pdf/parentsaspartners_ece-series.pd

https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/missouri-program-parent-home-visits/

Home visits allow teachers to meet parents in a more comfortable setting and to intervene early.

Alan Scher Zagier of AP reported in the article, Teachers find home visits help in the classroom:

In days gone by, a knock on the door by a teacher or school official used to mean a child was in trouble. Not anymore, at least for parents and students at Clay Elementary School.
The urban public school is one of more than 30 in the St. Louis area that sends teachers on home visits several times a year. Unlike home visit programs that focus on truants and troublemakers, or efforts aimed exclusively at early childhood, the newer wave seeks to narrow the teacher-parent divide while providing glimpses at the factors that shape student learning before and after the school bells ring.
The nonprofit HOME WORKS! program is modeled after one in Sacramento, Calif., that over the past decade has since spread to more than 300 schools in 13 states, with active programs in Washington, Denver, Seattle and St. Paul, Minn. Program leaders say participation leads to better attendance, higher test scores, greater parental involvement and fewer suspensions and expulsions, citing preliminary research of the newer program by the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a series of external reviews in Sacramento over the past decade. Participation is voluntary, and teachers are paid for their time.
“We’ve figured out a way for people to sit down outside the regular school and have the most important conversation that needs to happen,” said Carrie Rose, executive director of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project in the California capital.
The K-12 program began in 1999 as a faith-based community effort but quickly found support not only in the Sacramento school district but also with local teachers unions. The National Education Association has also endorsed teacher home visits, citing a “critical mass of research evidence” connecting high student achievement with involved parents.
No longer do parents only hear from teachers when there’s a problem, or during brief school conferences that leave little time to go beyond the surface….http://news.yahoo.com/teachers-home-visits-help-classroom-060213790.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory

Here is information about HOME WORKS!

HOME WORKS! Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles, & Core Values
Vision
Every child makes the grade.
Mission
HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit Program partners families and teachers for children’s success.
Guiding Principles
We believe that:
• All children can learn.
• Learning creates opportunities.
• Families must play a key role in a child’s life path.
• Open, honest communication is essential.
• Individual differences must be respected.
Core Values
Collaboration, Diversity, Innovation, Integrity, Respect, Service, Transparency
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
• Does HOME WORKS! The Teacher Home Visit program use volunteers?
HOME WORKS! is all about building personal relationships between parents and their children’s educators. Because of the nature of the program, it does not use volunteers.
• How is HOME WORKS! funded? Where does the money come from?
HOME WORKS! is funded by donations from corporations, family foundations, and individuals. We have not received ANY funding from government sources or from The United Way – yet!
http://teacherhomevisit.org/

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.

Related:

BBC report: Parents to be paid to attend parenting academy in England https://drwilda.com/2013/11/16/bbc-report-parents-to-be-paid-to-attend-parenting-academy-in-england/

Tips for parent and teacher conferences
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/07/tips-for-parent-and-teacher-conferences/

Common Sense Media report: Media choices at home affect school performance https://drwilda.com/2012/11/01/common-sense-media-report-media-choices-at-home-affect-school-performance/

Parents can use tax deductions to pay for special education needs https://drwilda.com/2012/10/24/parents-can-use-tax-deductions-to-pay-for-special-education-needs/

Intervening in the lives of truant children by jailing parents https://drwilda.com/2012/10/07/intervening-in-the-lives-of-truant-children-by-jailing-parents/

Making time for family dinner
https://drwilda.com/2012/09/10/making-time-for-family-dinner/

Embracing parents as education leaders
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/28/embracing-parents-as-education-leaders/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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