From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Steve Brandt, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Paul Levy and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

St. Paul's teacher home visits go national -- on "Today"

Posted by: Anthony Lonetree Updated: October 8, 2013 - 10:59 AM

NBC's "Today" show aired its report Tuesday on the efforts by St. Paul teachers to build partnerships with parents -- and hopefully boost student learning -- through visits to family homes.

The Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project was inspired by a family-engagement model developed in Sacramento, Calif. about 15 years ago.

Carrie Rose, executive director of the Sacramento group, told the Star Tribune in August that student attendance rates and test scores had risen, and suspension and expulsion rates had dropped, since the program's launch, and that the model now was being used in 16 states.

During the visits, teachers hope to learn what a parent's hopes and dreams are for his or her child.

St. Paul's effort came at the urging of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, which has trained teachers about how to make the most of the visits during workshop sessions at union headquarters.

Ida Lee Hurvitz, a teacher at Crossroads Elementary Science and Montessori School, was among the trainers who took part in a role-playing exercise in August. She can be seen and heard in the "Today" show report, part of which was shot at Crossroads Montessori in September.

The district has signed on to the local effort by agreeing as part of the union's contract to pay $50 stipends to teachers for each visit.

Here's the Star Tribune story.

The "Today" show report is here.

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