http://centurylink.net/news/read/cat...p_in_the_cl-ap

ST. LOUIS (AP) — In days gone by, a knock on the door by a teacher or school official used to mean a child was in trouble. Not anymore, at least for parents and students at Clay Elementary School.

The urban public school is one of more than 30 in the St. Louis area that sends teachers on home visits several times a year. Unlike home visit programs that focus on truants and troublemakers, or efforts aimed exclusively at early childhood, the newer wave seeks to narrow the teacher-parent divide while providing glimpses at the factors that shape student learning before and after the school bells ring.......

The nonprofit HOME WORKS! program is modeled after one in Sacramento, Calif., that over the past decade has since spread to more than 300 schools in 13 states, with active programs in Washington, Denver, Seattle and St. Paul, Minn. Program leaders say participation leads to better attendance, higher test scores, greater parental involvement and fewer suspensions and expulsions, citing preliminary research of the newer program by the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a series of external reviews in Sacramento over the past decade. Participation is voluntary, and teachers are paid for their time.......

The Missouri program, which began in St. Louis but now includes several schools 120 miles away in the college town of Columbia, follows a template common to the other efforts. Participating schools must agree to involve at least half of their teachers, and the educators work in pairs to ensure safety.

Program costs are often covered by foundation grants or borne by nonprofit supporters such as the Flamboyan Foundation, which paid for the program in the District of Columbia. Rose estimated the program cost at $10,000 annually for elementary schools, and $15,000 to $20,000 for high schools........

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