Parent Teacher Home Visits are a fast, inexpensive and replicable strategy for engaging families, educators and students as a team.
For years, research has shown that families are essential to student and school success. It seems simple – so why do schools have a hard time with effective family engagement?
First of all, experts agree that there’s more to family involvement than bake sales and back to school night. Effective family engagement builds relationships and capacity, and is linked to student learning.
Secondly, even schools that understand the importance of families run into complex barriers that get in the way of partnership:
- Everyone is short on money and time.
- There may be a historic lack of trust and communication between the school and the community.
- Cultural and socioeconomic differences, expectations and unconscious assumptions may get in the way of well-meaning adults working together effectively.
The PTHV model was developed by parents and teachers based upon community organizing principles of empowerment. Our home visits have a protocol which helps educators and families overcome the barriers listed above, and build trust, communication and common goals.
Once a teacher and the family of her student have done the home visit, they are mutually supportive and accountable to each other. The family is better able to support their child’s academics, and the teacher brings what she learns about the child to the classroom.
Home visits also provide a positive opportunity to meet federal and state mandates that families be meaningfully informed of their child’s academic standing. In fact, the PTHV model is recognized by the US Department of Education as a high-impact strategy for family engagement.