Teachers find home visits help in the classroom

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A growing number of school districts are finding that sending teachers into students' homes pays off in the classroom.

Unlike previous home visit programs that focused on truants and troublemakers, these broader efforts aim to narrow the teacher-parent divide while providing glimpses at the factors that shape student learning before and after the school bells ring.

In Missouri, the nonprofit HOME WORKS! connects teachers and parents in St. Louis and Columbia. The program is modeled after one in Sacramento, Calif. that has since spread to more than 300 schools in 13 states, with active programs in Washington, Denver, Seattle and St. Paul, Minn.

Program leaders say participation leads to better attendance, higher test scores and fewer suspensions and expulsions. Participation is voluntary, and teachers are paid for their extra time.

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