During the 1998-99 school year, the Committee on What is Taught and Learned was asked to work on Goal 1, Strategy 2c of the Three-Year Strategic Plan for District Improvement. The task was to develop a district homework policy. The committee began by studying research on homework and policies from other districts. At the completion of the study, the committee developed the guidelines with input from faculty and community members. The overarching principle is: homework should be meaningful and related to learning.
The Falmouth Public School system recognizes that homework is necessary and beneficial to the pursuit of academic growth. It is recognized that homework helps to expand academic achievement, self-discipline, and responsibility. Homework is essential to sound education in that it reinforces school learning, provides practice, preparation, and extension of learning. This effort must be coordinated among the schools, teachers, parents, and students. The homework guidelines provide suggestions for fostering cooperation between home and school. The district will endeavor, as an essential component of this homework policy, to teach and encourage strong study skills throughout all grade levels.
Types of Homework
- PREPARATION: work on a topic prior to the introduction of new material. This enables students to obtain background information.
- PRACTICE: an opportunity for students to strengthen skills and concepts taught in the classroom.
- EXTENSION: an opportunity for students to transfer newly acquired skills to other situations.
- PROJECTS: a special form of homework, projects are an extension of skills and concepts taught in the classroom. Class time should be allotted for students to research and work on their project. Time spent at home on projects should be part of, not in addition to weekly homework. Timelines should be clearly stated and include interim checkpoints. Projects should reflect the work of students.
Grades 1-2 - One to three (1-3) assignments per week, each on a separate night and each lasting no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
Grades 3-4 - A maximum of 30 to 45 minutes of homework each night, four to five nights per week.
Grades 5-6 - No more than 45 to 60 minutes of homework each night, four to five nights per week.
Grades 7-12 - Seventy-five to one hundred twenty (75-120) minutes each night, five nights per week, with assignments in most subjects each night.
- Every student is expected to spend additional time reading independently and practicing math facts.
- Students in advanced or honors classes should expect to spend more time on homework.
What the Teacher Expects of the Parent
- Assist the student in setting up a homework center.
- Assist the student in developing a regular homework schedule.
- Encourage focused independent work and provide support as needed by monitoring and assisting.
- Communicate with the teacher if the student is having any difficulty completing homework in the suggested time or if the student appears not to have homework.
What the Teacher Expects of the Student
- Record homework assignments on an assignment sheet or in an assignment notebook.
- Make a legitimate effort to complete the homework assignment neatly to the best of his/her ability.
- Hand in all assignments on time.
What the Parent and Student Can Expect of the Teacher
- Homework assignments that are meaningful and provide independent practice of skills taught or enrichment of content covered in class.
- Post homework assignments daily. Inform parents of all long-range assignments in a timely manner.
- Provide parents and students with a general homework schedule, including the usual number of homework assignments per week.
- Communicate to parents and students how homework will be evaluated.
- Check homework consistently and provide feedback to students in a timely manner.