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Escondido Union ESD |  AR  6154  Instruction

Homework/Makeup Work   

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The principal and staff at each school shall communicate a school site homework plan which includes guidelines for the assignment of homework and describes the responsibilities of students, staff, and parents/guardians. The plan shall inform parents/guardians as to how much time on homework will be expected and how homework relates to the student's grades. Parents can be informed in the school handbook, at Back-to-School Night, and during parent conferences.

General Guidelines for Homework

1. Homework should be work completed outside of school hours.

2. Homework is assigned with the understanding that different students need different lengths of time to complete assignments. Specific students will need adjustments for individual assignments. Furthermore, the nature of some assignments (e.g., to go shopping with a parent to analyze best buys) may not fit into a rigidly defined time frame. Keeping this in mind, the following are general guidelines for the amount of homework in a typical week.

Kindergarten 0 to 1 hour per week

Grades one, two, three 1 to 2 hours per week

Grades four and five 2 to 4 hours per week

Grades six, seven, and eight 4 to 6 hours per week

3. New assignments cannot be assigned on the last day of the week with completion expected the following Monday.

4. Teachers, particularly at the middle grade level, should coordinate assignments so that students do not receive an overload of homework assignments one day and very little the next.

5. Kindergarten homework assignments should stimulate students to talk often with their parents/guardians.

6. Homework should continue to reinforce skill development and encourage family participation. Assignments should help develop good personal study habits and may include special projects. Teachers should instruct students on how to develop good study techniques and habits.

7. Homework assignments should not require use of encyclopedias or other specialized materials unless sufficient time is allowed for students to get such materials from the library.

Guidelines for Teachers

Homework is an effective and inexpensive way to increase instructional time. While skill practice is certainly one purpose to which homework may be put, teachers will recognize also that homework is an effective vehicle for facilitating independent thought.

Homework can be used to prepare students for upcoming lessons by asking them to gather data, attempt solutions, write rough drafts, do background reading, or other preliminary work which frees up class time for discussion, analysis and revision. Homework also provides an opportunity to extend classroom learnings by asking students to transfer those learnings to situations within the child's home environment. Homework may call upon students to create original work products that integrate many skills and concepts.

In short, teachers should regularly assign homework which piques student curiosity, taps their inventiveness, and engages them in a variety of open-ended investigations.

When assigning homework, teachers should:

1. Clearly explain, during the class period, the objectives and materials to be covered in the assignment and suggest appropriate study techniques.

2. Be sure that assignments are reasonable in the time needed for completion and the degree of difficulty.

3. Use discretion in assigning makeup work after a student's absence because of illness.

4. Provide options for parental feedback if the student has tried to do the assignment and found it too difficult.

5. Keep parents/guardians informed of what is being learned and how their children's homework helps to promote this learning.

6. Vary the type of homework assigned, sometimes designing assignments which require parental participation and feedback and which clearly explain the parent's/guardian's role.

7. Review homework assignments promptly and give students feedback.

8. Regularly assign work which requires initiative and imagination and which discourages copying.

9. Encourage parents/guardians to read to and with their children as part of the homework assignment.

10. Avoid giving homework as punishment or as busy work.

11. Keep in mind the student's obligations to home, community, and school-related activities.

12. Be available before school, during assigned conference periods, and after school to assist students and parents/guardians.

Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

To help their children, parents/guardians should:

1. Provide a suitable place for study, free from distraction; and, if possible, reserved for that student alone.

2. Encourage the student and offer counsel, but insist that the student do his/her own work.

3. Participate eagerly in assignments which call for active parental involvement.

4. Check to see that the homework assignments are completed.

5. Express interest when their children talk about school.

6. Assist in balancing schoolwork with other activities.

7. Talk with teachers if homework assignments seem to cause students continuing problems.

8. Share ideas with their children on topics of common interest.

9. Keep in touch with the school through calls, visits, and conferences.

10. Insist upon the proper use and care of books and materials.

11. Talk about school and learning in a positive and enthusiastic manner.

Guidelines for the Student

To do a good job in homework, students should:

1. Listen carefully to all directions regarding homework.

2. Ask questions if the assignment is not clear.

3. Keep a record of all assignments, including due dates and other specific requirements.

4. Have a definite time and place for study, free from interruptions, and stocked with working materials.

5. Budget time wisely and maintain a schedule of study time.

6. Begin assignments promptly and turn them in when due.

7. Use libraries, dictionaries, maps and general reference materials, and learn appropriate ways to approach and question people who are knowledgeable in various fields.

8. Strive for the best results, rather than the minimum.

9. Take the initiative in making up work missed for any reason.

10. Study independently unless a group or family project is assigned.

11. Refrain from copying other student's work.

12. Use his/her own words in homework assignments.


approved: September 10, 1992 Escondido, California