Homework Policy

I. Philosophy

The purposes of homework are to improve the learning processes, to aid in the mastery of skills, and to create and stimulate interest on the part of the student. Homework is a shared responsibility among the teacher, student and family.

The term "homework" refers to an assignment to be prepared during a period of supervised study in class or outside of class time hours.

Homework is a learning activity that should increase in complexity with the maturity of the
student. With increased maturity, learning should become an independent activity. This should be established through consistent assignments, which encourage students to investigate for themselves and to work independently, as well as with others.

The information for any homework assignment should be clear and specific so that the student can complete the assignment.

Homework assignments should take into consideration individual differences of students such as health, ability, conditions at home, and educational resources at home. Homework should not require the use of reference materials not readily available in most homes, school libraries, or the public library, and should require the use of those materials only when the student has had instruction in the use of them.

Parents / Guardians can expect homework to be:
Planned and well organized by the teacher.
Consistent with the needs and abilities of students.
Purposeful and Meaningful to the students.
Reviewed with feedback given to students in a timely manner.

Homework assignments should be coordinated by the teacher(s) and should be within the limit of expected probability for accomplishment by the student. Homework should help the student to:

1. Learn to work independently and become self-reliant.
2. Think, plan, organize and apply.
3. Extend proficiency in effective habit and skills.
4. Increase knowledge and its use.
5. Develop insights and stimulate creativity.

II. Research supports the following:

Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework can benefit student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, administrators, teachers, parents and guardians should follow the guidelines below.

Assign purposeful homework. Legitimate purposes for homework include introducing new content, practicing a skill or process that students can do independently but not fluently, elaborating on information that has been learned in class to deepen students' knowledge, and providing opportunities for students to explore topics of their own interest.

Design and manage homework assignments to maximize the chances that students will be able to complete it. For example, ensure that homework is at the appropriate level of difficulty. Students should be able to complete homework assignments independently with relatively high success rates, but they should still find the assignments challenging and purposeful.

Parent/Guardian involvement: engage parents/guardians in appropriate ways (for example, as a sounding board to help students summarize what they learned from the homework) without requiring parents to act as teachers or to police students' homework completion.
Administrators/Teachers/Parents and/or Guardians should carefully monitor the amount of homework assigned so that it is appropriate to students' age levels and individual abilities.

III. Administrative Responsibilities

The school administrator will:
Review the established homework policy with the teaching staff.
Ensure that the teaching staff monitors and follows guidelines above.
Develop specific guidelines within the framework of the general policy where needed.
Provide professional development workshops and/or informational materials regarding
homework best practices for the teaching staff.
Fully communicate the policy to parents and the community.


IV. Teacher Responsibilities

The classroom teacher will:
Set out homework expectations early in the school year and implement them consistently.
Implement a routine, consistent system for assigning homework.
Assign homework congruent with students’ needs.
Make clear in assigning homework to students the purposes of the assignment, the guidelines for completion, and the basis for evaluating the work performed.
Monitor and check for student understanding of the assignment and the skills necessary to successfully complete the homework.
Provide students with rubrics that will be the basis of evaluation for long-term projects, reports, and research.
Collect homework assignments on the date specified.
Review, acknowledge, and return homework within one or two days for daily assignments.
Be consistent about how homework assignments are assessed.
Assess homework through the use of rating scales, checklists, anecdotal records, and scoring rubrics that identify specific criteria for success.
Utilize homework to locate problems in student progress and to individualize instruction.
Confer with families regarding concerns as they arise and make proper accommodations
Strive to work with colleagues to develop a consistent pattern for homework expectations between and across grade levels, disciplines and courses, and work to coordinate assignments across disciplines.


V. Family Responsibilities

Families should:
Provide encouragement and support; show interest in their children’s work.
Assist students outside of school in developing good study habits.
Provide supplies needed to complete homework assignments
Evaluate their children’s activities to be sure they have sufficient time to study.
Schedule a regular time for homework completion. Question students about their assignments. Monitor homework completion and the efficient use of time.
Encourage students to complete their own homework independently, unless otherwise specified.
Confer with teachers regarding homework when concerns arise
When provided, review teacher comments on homework assignments. Supervise the signing and returning of homework forms, notes, and schedules as required by the teacher.
Acknowledge responsible homework habits and effort.


VI. Student Responsibilities

The student should:
Understand homework assignment before leaving school.
Have a routine location and system to record daily assignments (e.g., planner, assignment book)
Take home all necessary materials to complete assignments.
Schedule and organize homework time that is free from distraction and compatible with family and/or after-school activities.
Complete and return homework on time.
Confer with teachers regarding homework concerns.


VII. Characteristics of Homework Best Practices

There are many other learning activities in the life of a student besides homework. For example, participating in school activities, pursuing cultural interests, participating in family living, and exploring personal interests should be considered when assignments are given.
The research suggests that individual students may require less or more time for assignments. If students are consistently spending significantly longer on assignments, families should consult with the teacher(s) to let them know of their child’s struggles.

In addition, multiple studies support that consistent reading outside of school builds cognitive processing for all students promoting optimal academic success in all content areas. Homework at grade levels may also involve long-term projects, products, or performances that serve as a demonstration of student learning. Long-term assignments should be made well in advance of the due date and should include incremental checkpoints or benchmarks to help students complete them successfully.

Five characteristics of best homework practices:

  • Purpose of assignments = should be meaningful to student learning / extension of the classroom
  • Efficiency of assignments = does not take a long time to complete, but requires critical thinking
  • Ownership of assignments = give students choices connecting homework to their interests / real world
  • Competence of assignments = differentiate homework to the appropriate level of difficulty
  • Design of assignments = promotes engagement, innovation and creativity

(Author Cathy Vatterott - Rethinking Homework 2010)

Policy Adopted September 12, 2018