A. Content of Homework
- Any homework assigned to students must be closely integrated with the curriculum. There should be a direct relationship between classroom studies and assigned homework. Homework should reinforce and extend the lessons learned in school.
- Homework should help students learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in gathering information and integrating knowledge, and an opportunity to remediate learning problems.
- Homework should help develop the student’s responsibility and provide an opportunity for the student to exercise independent work and judgment.
- The concepts on which a homework assignment is based should have been thoroughly taught and reviewed in class. Homework assignments should include only those exercises and activities that a student can accomplish independently.
- Homework assignments should not require the use of research or resource tools that are not readily available in the student’s homes or in sufficient quantity in the public or school library, or available for borrowing from the classroom.
- Homework assignments should not require extensive copy work unless the writing of numbers or script is the skill being taught.
- Homework must never serve a punitive or disciplinary function; learning, in school or at home, must always be a positive experience, rewarding for its own sake.
B. Assignment of Homework
1. The number, frequency, and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be based on the ability and needs of the individual student.
2. Homework should be assigned with clarity so that students know precisely what is expected of them. It may be helpful for teachers to post the homework assignment at the beginning of the class period and to encourage students to ask questions about any aspect of the assignment they do not fully understand. Homework should never be assigned hurriedly or in a confused manner.
The Northfield School District has a Homework Hotline. To find out a homework assignment, call 4074019, listen to the prompt and dial the extension for the student’s teacher. Homework is also available on the school website at www.ncs-nj.org on the teacher eBoards.
3. Teachers should observe the following guidelines for the introduction and assignment of homework. Time allotments include all aspects of the homework assignment–outside reading, research, drill work, and the like.
Grades 1, 2, and 3
Home experiences related to classroom lessons should be assigned to students when appropriate.
Formal homework assignments should be introduced in grade one. Lessons should be geared to the needs and abilities of individual students. The amount of time allocated should increase through the grades from ten to forty-five minutes several times a week.
Grade One 10 Minutes Grade Two 20 Minutes Grade Three 30 Minutes
c. Grades 4 through 8
Homework should be regularly scheduled, should require no more than sixty minutes of preparation daily, and should be based on the needs and abilities of individual students.
In middle school, student’s total daily homework load and out-of-school responsibilities should be considered in determining the amount of homework to be assigned. Teachers on each grade level or team will meet once a week or as required to review time estimates of homework to be assigned. Major tests that require substantial periods of study will be taken into consideration in determining the total estimated homework load.
- To the degree reasonably possible, teachers should plan and announce homework assignments, especially long term assignments, well in advance so that students can adjust their schedules appropriately.
- Students should be encouraged or required to maintain the homework assignment book provided by the district, in which the student records his/her daily assignment. Students and parent(s)/guardian(s) may be asked to record the time necessary to complete each assignment; this information will assist teachers in verifying their estimates of the length of time a given assignment will require.
- A teacher may accede to a parent(s)/guardian(s) request for additional homework assignments for a student, provided the teacher, in his/her discretion, believes that the students will benefit from the assignment.
- A student who has been absent from school will be given an opportunity to make up homework assignments, provided the assignments are completed during a period equal to the length of his/her absence. That period may be extended for the completion of long term assignments.
- The parent(s)/guardian(s) of an absent student may request homework assignments to be completed during the student’s absence. Teachers are expected to comply with any such request.
C. Evaluation of Homework
- All homework must be evaluated by the teacher and the teacher’s evaluation must be communicated to the students. Homework is not a learning activity if the student receives no acknowledgment of his/her work and no appraisal or criticism of it.
- Teachers should insist on high standards of quality in homework. The homework lesson should teach the values of thorough preparation, careful research, neat execution, thoughtful work, and prompt submission.
HOMEWORK/MAKEUP WORK (regulation continued)
D. Checklist for Teachers Teachers should be able to answer affirmatively the following questions about a homework assignment.
1. Does the homework serve a valid purpose?
2. Is it well within the capacities of the students?
3. Has the class been thoughtfully motivated for the work?
4. Does the assignment grow out of school experience?
5. Is the work related to student’s interests? Is it interesting?
6. Does the assignment extend student’s fund of information?
7. Is the work adapted to individual needs, interests, and capacities?
8. Are students entirely clear about what they are to do?
9. Can the students do the work without the assistance of parent(s)/guardian(s) or others?
10. Is the assignment a reasonable one and evenly scheduled in view of the students’ home conditions?
11. Does the assignment minimize the temptation merely to copy information?
12. Can the homework be evaluated fairly and/or be used in the daily program? Adopted: October 20, 2008