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Davis Joint USD |  AR  6154  Instruction

Homework/Makeup Work/Responsibilities   

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Types and Purposes of Homework

Should homework be assigned, teachers will design assignments that minimize time spent on homework while maximizing student learning. The objectives of homework assignments, the due dates, and the basis for evaluating the work performed should be made clear to the student at the time of the assignment. Teachers should provide multiple ways for students and parents to access homework assignments and due dates. For example, web sites, classroom postings, weekly assignment handouts, and use of planners/calendars can all be effective.

There are four general types of homework that may be optionally assigned, each having a different intended purpose. The purpose of any assigned homework must be aligned with course curriculum and be grade level appropriate. All teachers must ask themselves the following questions when assigning any type of homework: What is it? Why is it assigned? How will

it be used?

Homework Examples

1. Practice: Work that reviews and reinforces skills and concepts taught in class.

a. Helps students develop fluency and moves learning into long term memory.

b. Prepares students to perform the required skill(s) independently.

c. Examples: 3-10 math problems that reinforce the day's learning; reading to or with an adult

2. Completion: Work assigned during the school day not completed in class.

a. Helps prevent students from falling behind.

b. Complete work that was not finished in class; if student is working efficiently and regularly not finishing, teacher conference is indicated.

c. Example: Complete a math assignment; do a rewrite of an essay; fill out questionnaire on what went well/not well on a group project.

3. Preparation: Work that prepares students for upcoming lessons or units.

a. Provides background which prepares students for a study, or it helps to connect their own prior knowledge and/or experiences for an upcoming study.

b. Provide student with necessary books and resources prior to assignment so it is readily available in all homes to enable student with same prior knowledge as classmates when lesson begins

c. Example: Student reads background information on historical event; interview a parent/adult about family traditions prior to a writing assignment on cultural traditions in our world.

4. Extension: Work that explores and refines learning in new contexts or integrates and expands on classroom learning.

a. Encourages students to problem solve, think creatively, and think critically.

b. To be effective, this homework does not require a student to learn curriculum content independently; instead, students deepen understanding and relate learning to the real world.

c. Example: Extend science project on ‘how seeds grow' by having student take home seeds and plant, tend, and report/chart what happens.

Make up Work

No student shall lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time shall be defined as at least one school day per day of excused absence. Excused absences include field trips and school-sponsored sports and other activities.

Upon timely request, students shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests for full credit. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests can be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence.

The Superintendent or designee shall notify parents/guardians that no student may have his/her grade reduced or lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. Such notification shall include the full text of Education Code 48205. (Education Code 48980)

The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended shall give and may require, in accordance with Ed Code, the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. (Education Code 48913)

Co-curricular performances/contests/events are considered instructional time. Rehearsals and practices are considered homework.

If a conflict arises between two school-related/school-sponsored activities, the parent and teacher can create a resolution that does not have an adverse effect on the student or the class grade. This may also apply to a student activity which has a significant impact on post high school planning.

(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

Teacher Collaboration

Monthly site collaboration time as well as other staff meeting times may be used to create accessible common school-wide posted calendars, coordinate assignments to minimize overlapping tests and projects, and for discussion of best practices related to homework assignments.

Maximum Amount of Homework Time

Homework may be assigned four nights per week, Monday through Thursday. The time limits stated below are the maximum time for any one night. (See Weekend and Holidays.) Whenever possible, teachers are encouraged to provide assignments in advance to allow flexible time management opportunities to students and their families.

When a student does not use his/her class time well, s/he will have more work to do at home.

When a student takes a course which is generally offered above his/her grade level, that student can expect to spend the amount of time doing homework specified for the course level.

Although art may be a part of an assigned project in a non-art class, the evaluation of the project shall not penalize students who lack strengths in using art as a medium of expression.

Loss of recess shall not be a consequence for lack of homework completion. While teachers may occasionally keep a student for a momentary check for understanding, recess should otherwise not be denied.

Should individual sites wish to redistribute the homework time allotment among subjects to better suit their curriculum, a site plan will be developed and communicated with parents and students.

Elementary Grades

There is a strong connection between reading to or with elementary children every day in English, or in one's first language, and student achievement. As a result, homework assigned in the early grades shall primarily take the form of silent reading or reading aloud. Assigned reading should be suited to the child's reading level. Children may always choose to read longer if they are so inclined.

Kindergarten through Second Grade

Twenty minutes per day may be assigned. is accommodates both the adopted mathematics curriculum as well as daily reading.

Third Grade

Thirty minutes per day may be assigned.

Fourth Grade

Forty minutes per day may be assigned. This includes science homework. Music practice may also be assigned up to 80 additional minutes per week.

Fifth Grade

Forty-five minutes per day may be assigned. This includes social studies and science homework. Music practice may also be assigned up to 80 additional minutes per week.

Sixth Grade

Fifty-five minutes per day may be assigned. This includes social studies and science homework. Music practice may also be assigned 80 additional minutes per week. .

Seventh - Eighth Grade

English and mathematics classes may each assign twenty minutes per day. Other academic classes, including foreign language and science, may assign fifteen minutes per day. For example, a schedule with English, mathematics, and three other academic classes, this would result in no more than 85 minutes of homework per day. Music practice may be assigned 80 additional minutes per week.

Ninth - Twelfth Grade

English and mathematics classes may each assign thirty minutes per day. Other academic classes, including foreign language, music or science, that do not carry the designation Honors or AP may assign twenty minutes per day.

For a schedule with English, mathematics, and three other academic classes, this would result in two hours of homework per day. High school Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes may require more. Consult the school's course catalog and course syllabus.

The remainder of this policy applies to all grades and all classes, including GATE, Honors and AP.

Weekend and Holiday Assignments

Weekend and holiday homework shall not be assigned with the expectation that it be completed during those times. For example, a one-day assignment made on Friday would not be due until Tuesday; a two-day assignment would be due on Wednesday, and so on.

Long-Term Homework Assignments

Long-term homework assignments, i.e. those assigned over more than five school days, shall provide a proportionate learning benefit relative to the time required to complete the assignment. The time needed to accomplish long-term assignments should be integrated into the total time needed for all homework assignments, short and long term.

* Teachers shall provide clear, written directions for assignments. These directions to students should include all relevant information, such as the due date, the required length (if any), any required format specifics, planned check points, and penalties for late or non-completion of work.

* Classroom instructional time should be given at the onset of projects to assist students in understanding and starting the project satisfactorily.

* Some check points or scaffolding should be provided during class time with adequate feedback from the teacher with respect to student progress.

* No summer homework may be assigned with the exception of Advanced Placement if required or recommended by the College Board.

Roles and Responsibilities

A positive and open school-home partnership will have a beneficial impact on student learning needs.

1. The Superintendent shall:

a. Publicize and make easily available on the district's website the homework policy as adopted by the Board of Education; make translations and hardcopies available as needed;

b. Provide training for administrators to work with their staffs on implementation of the homework policy;

c. Craft, publicize and oversee administrative remedies that students, parents/guardians, and teachers can access in the event this policy and/or its administrative guidelines are not implemented;

d. Direct staff to design an evaluation process to be completed after the first full year of implementation of the policy. If changes are made to the policy or regulations given the outcome of the evaluation, a second evaluation will be completed after full implementation of the revised BP/AR.

e. Include at least one question assessing the quality and amount of homework in an annual school survey of parents/guardians. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall monitor responses to check for policy compliance.

2. Site principals shall:

a. Provide an in-depth in-service at the beginning of each school year focused on homework, including overview of the policy, effective strategies and practices, and co-planning with grade level teams or departments;

b. Be responsible for ensuring compliance with the homework policy;

c. Have on-going discussions with staff regarding effective homework strategies and practices;

d. Coordinate school-wide resources and practices that support homework, e.g. use of planners, library facilities, academic support programs, ensuring effective communication between teachers so that the amount of homework assigned does not exceed what is permitted within the policy;

e. Ensure this policy is easily accessed (and translated as needed) on the school's website or upon request;

f. Provide information to parents on the purpose of effective homework and sharing practices that will help families support their children (for example: newsletters, open houses, and websites);

g. Work with teachers to develop a school-wide grading and late work policy that is fair and consistent;

h. Resolve conflicts between two school-sponsored activities if the parent and teacher are unable to do so.

3. Teachers shall:

a. Know and comply with the homework policy as it applies to their classes;

b. Encourage a partnership with family and students that promotes timely, regular communication and supports families in the homework process;

c. Provide multiple ways for students and parents to access homework assignments and due dates. For example, web sites, classroom postings, weekly assignment handouts, and use of planners/calendars can all be effective;

d. Communicate the objective of the homework task or explain how it helps learning;

e. Share expectations for homework with students and parents, including when it is appropriate for the student to cease working on the day's home work (e.g. it is taking too much time or the student is unable to complete the assignment independently);

f. Ensure any homework assigned is necessary, directly related to classroom instruction, and consists of clear and purposeful activities;

g. Keep in mind that the long-term goal of homework is to engage students and inspire a love of learning;

h. Assign homework that is appropriate to the student's age, developmental level, learning style, skills, and individual needs;

i. demonstrate organizational strategies for the successful completion of homework;

j. Teach skills to enable the student to complete the homework and become successful independent learners;

k. Provide homework assignments that are well-organized and easy to understand, preferably with written, and oral, instructions;

l. Articulate and carefully plan homework in partnership with other site teacher;

m. Provide feedback in a timely and clear manner so the student may incorporate that feedback into subsequent related class/course work.

4. Students shall:

a. Make effective use of class time;

b. Ensure that he/she clearly understands the homework assigned, i.e. assignments, criteria, and timelines, and ask for clarification or assistance from the teacher when homework assignments or the expectations are not clear;

c. Record assignments in his/her planner, or use another means of recording homework;

d. Complete assigned homework on time, to the best of his/her ability; communicate with teachers and/or parents when homework is not achievable within expected time limits;

e. Transport needed materials to and from school;

f. Plan for long-term assignments;

g. Contact teachers to obtain missed assignments when absent from class.

5. The family shall be encouraged to:

a. Read in the family's first language at least throughout the elementary years of their children's education;

b. Provide a suitable environment, i.e. workplace, block of uninterrupted time, usually in the home or in an alternative setting such as a homework club for the homework to be done;

c. Provide encouragement and support without doing the homework for their child;

d. Establish a healthy balance between homework, co-curricular activities, family commitments, and their child's need for personal free time;

e. Intervene and stop a child who has expended an excessive amount of time and/or frustration on the day's homework and then confer with the teacher;

f. Not allow students to sacrifice sleep to complete homework;

g. Communicate with the teacher(s) if the student is not consistently able to do the homework by him/herself or if challenges or questions arise. Families of older students should encourage the child to communicate with the teacher in order to foster independence and personal responsibility; and

h. Communicate with the teacher(s) if any of these family responsibilities cannot be met.


approved: June 21, 2010 Davis, California

revised: February 21, 2013