Do home visits help? Impacts of home visits in the District of Columbia Public Schools

Best Evidence in Brief Index

By Xue Wang, Johns Hopkins University

Parent engagement plays an important role in student outcomes. Prior research shows that higher parent engagement is associated with better student outcomes such as higher attendance rates. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of programs intended to improve parent engagement. Yet, there is little evidence on the effectiveness of these programs. A recent study by the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic examined the impacts of home visits conducted by trained teachers on the outcomes of students in grades 1-5 (N = 3,996) in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Teachers and families could choose to participate or not in the home visits. Teachers received a 2-3 hour training, at which time they could begin home visits with families. Home visits took place either over the summer or during the school year. The visits typically last for 30 minutes, during which teachers and parents discuss…

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