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Input Requested From Families on Homework Policy Regulations

Dear Montclair Families,

The policy committee has been working to develop a homework policy and regulations that fit our student needs and address best practices in assigning tasks that are accomplished away from school. The homework policy below has been completed. As a policy should, it reflects a broader philosophy and does not address specifics.

We are seeking your input on the regulations that should accompany the policy. The regulations tend to be more specific, and we would like to develop them by grade cluster (K-2, 3-5, 6-9 and 9-12). Please email your suggestions to us at homeworkpolicy@montclair.k12.nj.us by July 31. When sending in your suggestions, please specify a grade configuration in the subject line of the email or type general in the subject line.

Thank you in advance. We are looking forward to developing this with your input.

Sincerely,

Barbara Pinsak
Interim Superintendent


DRAFT HOMEWORK POLICY - 2017

The Board of Education believes that student achievement is a complex, continuous process and that meaningful homework assignments provide an extension of students’ school learning experiences and help them develop initiative, independence and a sense of responsibility.  Research shows a positive relationship between moderate amounts of homework and achievement for students at the secondary level (Cooper 1989, 2006).

The Board recognizes the need to establish homework criteria for teachers, caregivers and students that will increase the effectiveness of instruction for students. Homework shall be assigned regularly to students in an amount consistent with best practices as evidenced in the educational research.

“Homework” is defined as those assignments which are to be prepared or completed outside of the school day.

The Superintendent shall implement the following policy and develop regulations for the assignment of homework, according to these guidelines:

  1. Homework should be a properly planned element of the curriculum, extending and/or reinforcing the learning experiences of the school;

  2. Homework should help develop student responsibility and provide opportunity for the exercise of independent work and judgment;

  3. The number, frequency and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be based on the ability and needs of the student and take into account other activities that make a claim on the student’s time;

  4. The schools should recognize the importance of good communication with caregivers by suggesting ways in which they might assist the school in helping a child fulfill the assignment;

  5. Homework should be a valid learning experience and it should never be used as a punishment. Learning, in school or at home, should always be a positive experience.

  6. When assigning homework projects, teachers should be sensitive to the availability of home materials. It is preferred that materials for projects are furnished by the school to guarantee equal access for students;

  7. Homework assignments should not require the use of research or resource tools that are not readily available in the students’ homes or available for borrowing from the school/classroom;

  8. As a valid educational tool, homework will be clearly assigned, its product evaluated to assess learning and appropriate feedback given to the student. (No grades given in elementary school?)

  9. Weekend and holiday homework is discouraged. Make-up work, long-term projects and research papers may be assigned over periods that include weekend and/or holidays;

  10. Teachers are expected to be aware of religious observances that may affect a student’s ability to complete homework assignments. Reasonable extensions shall be granted upon request without consequences;

  11. In grades or schools where students have multiple core teachers, every effort will be made to coordinate tests and due dates for research paper so that students can manage their study time.

  12. Teachers should plan and announce long term assignments well in advance so that students can adjust their schedules appropriately;

  13. Class time is valuable student-teacher time and should not be used to start homework, except where the teacher, in exercising professional judgment, wants to assess the students’ understanding of the assignment.

Updated: 10/10/2017