Dallas ISD teachers engage parents with at-home visits

A new pilot program is helping engage parents with their children's goals in the classroom. Demond Fernandez reports.

DALLAS – Some teachers across Dallas Independent School District are taking new approaches to parent-teacher conferences. They are leaving campuses and connecting with students and parents at home. It's part of a new pilot program.

Bob Adams works pretty hard engaging the students in his fifth grade reading and social studies classes at Cesar Chavez Learning Center.

Now, Adams and some other teachers from the campus are working to engage the students' parents through non-traditional home visits.

"We're going out and we're talking about the importance of reading, and the importance of connecting the home with the school," Adams said.

The new parent-teacher home visit program is an effort to connect teachers, students, and parents away from school. Teachers are pairing up with a colleague and heading out on their own time to meet in a relaxed setting for casual conversation with parents.

"Basically, we talk about the goals we have for the kids," one of the participating teachers explained.

The teachers say they do not discuss academic data nor discipline during the visits.

"So far, I feel like we've been very welcomed," Adams said. "It's not anything about discipline or being in trouble. It's just talking to you, and we also ask what the dreams are for the kids."

The parent-teacher home visit program is currently operating in 10 campuses across Dallas ISD. The participating schools include Chavez Learning Center, Edison Middle School, Carr Elementary School, Carver Learning Center, Kennedy Learning Center, North Dallas High School, Oran Roberts Elementary School, Pinkston High School, Rusk Middle School, and Zaragoza Elementary School.

Jose Munoz, the Principal of Cesar Chavez Learning Center, believes the program could inspire more parents to become involved in schools.

"We feel that all parents are the lifelong teacher, and developing a lasting relationship with the parent is very critical to the child's development," he said.

So far this school year, Adams has paid a visit to nine of his students' homes. He and his colleague say their goal is to visit each student's home at least twice.

The students and teachers say the program is already working in building better relationships.


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