Thursday, October 15, 2015

                     Every one is Different. Every one is Spectacular!                           Dilworth Middle School Rocks Home Visits

   "They know Zuly's family and I feel comfortable that they're coming in to see us," said Elsa Valles, Zuly's mother. 
For seventh grader Esmeralda Velez and her single-mom, Maria, these visits only make her education that much better.
"It means my daughter will do something big," said Maria. "She will have success in her education."
"My goal is to graduate college," said Esmeralda. "I want to be an engineer in science and technology."
Even though the teachers and parents met as strangers at the beginning of the visit, they always leave as family. 
"They shared something with us today," said Mitchell. "They shared their home life, their past, and secrets of their families. It just strengthens everything."

  KTVN TV 2 shows what this Parent Teacher was like. For more info see their story here:

Friday, October 9, 2015

New Study Shows Parent Teacher Home Visit Success
Reading and Attendance Improvements
   Students whose teachers visited them at home to build relationships with their families were less likely to miss school, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University.
   Researchers also found that students who took part in a home visiting program were more likely to read on grade level and that their teachers received higher marks on some parts of their teacher evaluations.
   Link to an article that explores this research more fully here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bias-Busting Home Visits

     Carrie Rose, Director of Parent Teacher Home Visits Speaks Out

     Kudos to Education Week and Education Week Teacher for the latest thinking on how teacher bias impacts learning ("Four Principles for Bias-Busting in the Classroom," Education Week Teacher; "Under Pressure, Colo. Schools Forge New Path; and "'Racial Mismatch' Changes Teacher Expectations for Students, Study Finds," Inside School Research blog).
     Teachers need tools to help them connect with the cultures of their students in ways that affect the bottom line: student learning. Our organization, the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project, offers professional development training to public school teachers in how to create meaningful relationships with the families of their students, starting with a voluntary home visit. Building cultural competency and connection is a vital part of this process.
     Bias-busting requires genuine engagement, I would argue. In order to build trust, our visits are scheduled in advance, in a setting where teachers do not have the institutional advantage.
    A relationship-building approach such as this will lead to communication, trust, and accountability. Using what they learn from this relationship, both teachers and parents can become better educators and advocates for young people.
     This approach helps teachers question their own biases. And that can only makes their classrooms more relevant to all of their students.
Carrie Rose
Executive Director
Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project
Sacramento, Calif.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Parent Teacher Home Visits are Growing Around the U.S.

   We were graced today to read about Parent Teacher Home Visits across the county. 

   Check out this short story of the amazing changes happening as a result of Parent Teacher Home Visits:

“I don’t have a car. I can’t drive because my back got broken in two places,” she tells a trio of teachers standing in her doorway. “I’m a mom. I can’t be there with all of them all the time, - See more at:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Principal Champion for Parent Teacher Home Visits
Primm Walters, Sun Valley Elementary School

   The Parent-Teacher Home Visit Project  has helped us grow our school into a community center, where both students and parents alike, feel welcomed and safe. 

   As a result of the Parent Teacher Home Visits, each morning as I greet the students I see the children enter with  an eagerness to learn because not only do they feel safe, but now they see themselves as partners with the teachers in their class and school.

    We did the home visit for a family who has three girls at Sun Valley Elementary School at a local McDonald's.  By the time the visit was over the three girls, who had been very shy initially, were eager to talk to me about their interests in many areas both in and out of school.. 

   Their parents felt comfortable and appreciated the time we took to get to know them as a family.  By the end of the visit, the girls' younger brother was sitting in my lap sharing my french fries. We all felt connected. 

   As we continue with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project our perception of the community grows deeper with new understanding.  We are less fearful in going out into the community. Our confidence has grown and we are successful in building bridges from the school to homes and from the homes back to school. 

  The changes I see as a result are why I am a strong champion for Parent Teacher Home Visits! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Super Star for Home Visits

Regina Valencia, Site Coordinator and Teacher, Sparks High School
    Unlike a lot of her peers, Regina Valencia didn’t need to do Parent Teacher Home Visits to understand Latino culture. She has lived in Spanish speaking countries and speaks Spanish. But those factors have benefited her greatly as she began to build relationships with her students’ families in a school with a mostly Latino student population.
During the 2014- 2015 school year, Regina Valencia has done 70 Parent Teacher Home Visits!  She reports that Parent Teacher Home Visits have increased her awareness of the students’ family lives and home situations one by one.
    She sees the improvement in her communication both with the student and with the family. “It’s fun in class being able to talk to the student about Barbie the dog who jumped all over us on a visit and sat in our laps. I can talk to that particular student and say ‘hey how’s Barbie doing?’ Breaking down those barriers helps in the long run to improve the academics as well because students will come to me about more difficult things. I think that is the most important benefit of the Parent Teacher Home Visits.”
    “I had a Visit that impacted me. A Parent has three daughters that attends our school and she was going to have surgery the following week. It was close to Christmas time. I was impressed that the mother was so involved in her daughter’s education. Being a single mom getting ready to go into surgery in the next couple days, she was still willing to have the Parent Teacher Home Visit and welcomed us into her house. That was incredible.”

    Regina says that her openness to visiting families at their homes has also generated more parents’ interest in learning English as a second language as they feel more comfortable now that they have a personal relationship with me and want to be more involved in their children’s education.
   For more information about How Parent Teacher Home Visits Can Lead to School Transformaton, check out this short article from the National Education Association. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Strong Supporter of Parent Teacher Home Visits
Melanie Reeves, Sparks High School Teacher

   When I get to know my students and their families I am better able to help them through the understanding I gain.
   Let me tell you about one of my Parent Teacher Home Visits. At this particular visit I learned that the parents had a third grade education. This helped me understand how I could be helpful to both the family and the child in different ways. For instance I will focus on more of the basics in reading and math.
   Since doing home visits parents have begun to contact me much more often. They are comfortable in reaching out to me.  
   From the Parent Teacher Home Visits I have gotten to know who my students really are. It has been an invaluable tool for getting to know the “real” person for both the students and their families.  It has helped me form a better relationship with my students because they know that I am accepting of their home, family and situations.  I have  been accepted into their home and that makes a more genuine bond between me, the student and family.  
   My biggest goal  in doing Parent Teacher Home Visits is to let the parents know that I am accessible.  I also seek to help the child become more comfortable with me and as a result more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn from me.

   The bonding I feel with and by my students has improved tremendously since the Parent Teacher Home Visits.  They know that they are important to me. 

   Read a short good article featuring Washoe County Schools' Parent Teacher Home Visits in Education Weekly here