In 1998, parents from a low-income neighborhood in Sacramento, CA used community-organizing principles to develop a strategy intended to build trust and accountability between parents and teachers, interrupting a cycle of blaming each other for low student achievement.
The home visit is a voluntary meeting between two equal partners with common goals, in a setting away from the institutional power of the school.
The model was refined with teacher and community allies, and a pilot project was created with the support of a unique collaboration between the local school district, SCUSD, the teachers’ union, SCTA, and the community organizing group who originally galvanized the parents, Sacramento Area Congregations Together.
The project evolved into a non-profit and word of the program’s success spread beyond Sacramento. Our founding parents and teachers answered hundreds of requests to train communities like theirs, from Alaska to Florida, in rural, suburban and urban districts across the United States. We supported our growing grassroots movement with an annual conference, which continues to be peer-led and focused on best practices.
As our model was adapted and adopted by widely diverse communities, we evolved five non-negotiable core practices that, when followed, maintain the integrity and impact of this relational, capacity-building approach.
In 2013, we formed a national board of directors representative of the work across the country, including school district and teacher’s union partners. This board created a 5-year strategic plan, 2015-2020, with goals for the expansion and deepening of the use of Parent Teacher Home Visits across the country.