A pilot project in the Herkimer Central School District sent teachers into students’ homes to help build relationships between families and educators.
As part of the grant-funded Family Engagement Program, a small group of elementary and seventh-grade teachers visited the homes of their incoming students during July and August to help create relationships and a feeling of teamwork between the schools and families.
Through the home visits, families had a chance to speak about their goals for their children, while teachers discussed their expectations for the school year.
For families of rising seventh-graders, the visits can help families make the transition from elementary school to the junior-senior high school.
“It gives all those involved a time to have an informal conversation that has immense potential to grow the successes for the children during the school year and beyond,” teacher Kristin Stallman said.
Stallman said parents and students were very excited to take part in this pilot. She said parents commented that their children are more at ease and better prepared for the first day, since the students already know their teachers.
“Children were eager to share their homes and loved to have their teacher there,” Stallman said. According to Stallman, children played games with their teachers and showed their teachers their rooms; some even invited their teacher to stay for dinner.
“The hope is to be able to continue and grow this wonderful and exciting program in the Herkimer Central School District,” Stallman said.