Former superintendent and current president of the Stuart Foundation, Jonathan Raymond, believes that at-home parent-teacher visits are the future of the outdated parent-teacher conferences. He explains how it works, why its effective, and how schools can get started.
"As a former superintendent of a large urban school district, I’ve seen how family engagement can transform the learning environment in schools, add to the professional growth of teachers and dramatically improve students’ academic and social development," Raymond says in a post for EdSource.
While superintendent for the Sacramento City Unified School District in California, Raymond's district pioneered what he says is a simple and inexpensive method to truly engage parents with their child's teacher and school: The Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project.
According to the project's site, parent/teacher home visits help districts:
Currently in seventeen states, the Parent/Teacher Home Project begins with an introductory training for school staff. After a partnership between the school district, a community organization, and the local teachers union is formed, the partners "draw up a budget and set a schedule for visits, reflection and evaluation."
"The Parent/Teacher Home Visit begins with the goal of relationship building, with teachers making an appointment to meet with the parent at a time and setting that’s convenient for the family. Ideally the teachers meet with every family whose child attends school," Raymond says.
To avoid stepping on any toes, parent/teacher visits are always voluntary and teachers are always compensated for their time.
"Both teachers and parents make their expectations clear, share their hopes and dreams for the child, and work together to meet them. Following the initial visit, the two sides work as a team on academic goals."
Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor