As reported on the Hazelwood School District website
Hazelwood School District (HSD) has set high academic expectations for student success. Those expectations, however, are also extended to families who have children attending schools in the District. One HSD principal has made his focal point to engage parents, family members, and community members, to contribute to the academic successes of students.
Chauncey Granger, principal at Hazelwood Southeast Middle School, stresses to teachers and staff the importance of parent involvement in a child’s education. Granger encourages teachers and staff members to make home visits in order to strengthen relationships with parents.
“Many of our students are dealing with external factors that prevent them from excelling in school,” explained Granger. “Home visits allows a teacher the opportunity to get to the bottom of some those issues, and with that perspective we can began to build upon, and strengthen relationships with our students and parents.”
To achieve this, Granger is partnering with a local nonprofit Home Works, a teacher home visit program founded by Karen Kalish. Kalish is a “serial social entrepreneur,” having started several businesses that focus on improving literacy, closing the academic, opportunity, and achievement gaps, and ending discrimination. Home Works provide teachers and other staff with in-depth training sessions that prepare them for potential challenges.
The Home Works home visit program permits teachers and staff to meet with parents in more relaxed environments, including public places such as coffee shops, libraries, and community centers.
“We want our parents to be as comfortable as possible during visits, so that we can build trust and understanding about the benefit of forming a partnership between teachers and parents is a commitment to student success in education,” said Granger. “Our goal is to continue to strengthen relationships with teachers and parents, and drive home the idea that student success in education is a community effort.”
For Granger, partnering families with teachers for student success has led to an increase in student attendance, class participation, and homework participation.
“Here at Southeast Middle, teachers and staff who are dedicated to partnering with parents, have reported to me a 90 percent increase in homework participation as a result of the home visits,” said Granger.