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Home Field Advantage isn’t just for sports

2014 September 18
by HISD Communications

I’m not sure there’s any scientific evidence to support whether a home field advantage improves the overall performance of a sports team — but we know the concept works with youngsters and their education.

If a child is moved more than three times before the eighth grade, research shows that they are four times more likely to drop out of school.

Creating stability is why we’ve enacted the Home Field Advantage program in HISD this year, at 13 of our elementary schools with the most mobile populations. About a third of these children are moved each school year, most of them for the most understandable of reasons: money. Parents take advantage of tantalizing deals that offer free apartment rent, and they don’t always make sure that their new address is zoned to their current school.

With Home Field Advantage, we’re making sure these children stay put with us. We work with parents to provide transportation to their original school, so children will remain with the teachers who know their learning needs and the friends they have made. There’s no better foundation for future success.

A bonus is that a number of the Home Field Advantage schools will be participating in our Read Houston Read volunteer literacy program, so first-graders will have the added benefit of one-on-one reading mentoring throughout the year. We don’t want that bond to be broken.

In the first 10 days of school alone, we arranged transportation for 15 students so that they could stay at their “home” schools, even though their families had moved to another attendance zone. By rooting for the home team, those families are making sure their children are batting 1.000.

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