Middle school is an unsettling time for most students, and Frisco ISD, in recognition of this fact, is doing something unusual: making house visits like it’s 1899.
Staff members are stopping by their new students’ homes in the evening and travel in pairs, introducing themselves to the kids and their parents.
Learning to navigate the challenging world of middle school is critical for students to increase their chances of overall academic success. While many middle school kids -- who are too cool for almost everything -- would blanch at the thought of a teacher or principal in their homes, the effort aims to make them more comfortable in their new school environment, as well as build relationships among the families in the district.
The Parent Teacher Home Visit Project, a California-based non-profit, advocates the practice as a cost-effective way to prevent school and home from becoming separate and foreign entities. They report that it increased student attendance rates, increases student test scores, decreases suspension and expulsion rates, decreases school vandalism.
Hundreds of schools in California currently fund parent/teacher home visits, but Stafford Middle School is the only school that does it in Frisco ISD.
Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.