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San Mateo Un HSD |  AR  6154  Instruction

Homework/Makeup Work   

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Teacher Practices

Teachers are not required to assign homework but may use their professional discretion to balance in-and-out-of-class schoolwork for the purpose of meeting standards and students' needs. Teachers' practices regarding homework shall include:

* Providing students and parents a course syllabus that includes specific information regarding the types and the role of homework in the assessment of student achievement.

* Clarifying homework expectations and identifying required materials and resources.

* Communicating the estimated amount of time the homework requires and the due date.

* Complying with accommodations or modifications recommended by applicable IEPs and 504 plans related to student homework.

* Differentiating assignments when it is determined that, despite appropriate effort and learning habits, a student or students are spending more than the expected time completing homework (not to include time lost to distractions such as social media, television, cell phones, etc.).

The District encourages teachers to consider the following accommodations to support students:

* Providing opportunities to revise homework.

* Extending time to complete homework when appropriate.

* Reviewing students' homework submissions to determine any necessary changes in future instruction and homework assignments.

* Discussing best practices for time management and study strategies with students.

* Offering students a degree of choice, in terms of homework assignments, to allow students the best opportunity to accomplish the goals of the homework.

Homework assignments shall have a clear purpose and be designed for completion within a reasonable timeframe. Homework should provide teachers and students with engagement and communication opportunities. The following are expectations for teachers when assigning homework:

* Students shall receive timely feedback or acknowledgment from teachers regarding their completed homework in advance of relevant summative tasks.

* Parents/guardians shall be notified and asked to contact the teacher when students repeatedly fail to do their homework.

* Homework assignments shall be designed to provide teachers with feedback regarding students' progress toward expected outcomes.

* Homework assignments shall be posted in a manner that is clear, consistent, and easily observed by the students in the classroom and through online communication tools.

* Assignments and partial assignments that are solely intended to be completed as homework shall comprise no more than 15% of a student's grade.

Over the course of a semester, homework assignments shall entail a variety of required study skills. The list below includes best practices for homework assignments:

* Different types of homework assignments shall be considered.

* Students should be granted the opportunity to choose from a variety of options in order to personalize learning.

* A schedule of homework assignments shall be provided to allow students with the opportunity to plan and budget their time.

* Long-term assignments shall have clear check-in points with the teacher.

* Homework requiring in-depth study shall be scheduled with an awareness of and sensitivity to major tests, assignments, and projects for other classes/disciplines, school events, and holidays occurring simultaneously.

* Project-based assignments may be given as homework; however, these tasks must not require group meetings outside of class, significant assistance from parents, or costly materials. Teachers shall monitor and be mindful of the logistical challenges of group assignments outside of the classroom.

* Assignments requiring group collaboration shall detail expectations for each student's role in the group. The evaluation and assessment method of each student's contribution shall be clearly defined.

Teachers shall coordinate with one another to establish due dates for large homework assignments/projects and create assessment schedules that balance expectations to minimize student overextension. Student feedback regarding the type, duration, and scheduling of homework shall be encouraged by teachers, such as student surveys, and given weight in the decision making process.

Homework Free Breaks

The District requires "homework free" breaks over the following time periods:

* Thanksgiving

* Winter Recess

* Spring Recess

* Summer Vacation

Schools, departments, and teachers may choose additional homework free periods.

There shall be no due dates, exams, or projects scheduled for the day students return to school from a homework free break. In regards to summer vacation, teachers may suggest optional material which could benefit students but will not be assessed or graded. The District strongly encourages students to pursue summer reading and other academic activities (including SMUHSD sponsored opportunities) for enjoyment and enrichment knowing they will not be graded or given credit. Students may choose to use their time during any of these homework free breaks for voluntary revision, review, enrichment, or completion of makeup assignments.

Review Week

Review week is the week prior to final exams. It is predominantly reserved for review and makeup work for classes with a cumulative final exam. The week preceding final exams, there shall be no new assignments or new material introduced that would be included on the final exam. As an exception, in classes that have alternative final exams that are not cumulative, such as projects, presentations, or writing assignments, the review week may be used as appropriate to prepare students.

Site Administrator Responsibilities

Site administrators shall establish and maintain after-school centers where students can receive support from teachers, volunteers, and peer tutors to complete homework assignments. Tutorials, advisories, flex time, and other scheduled time during the school day that allows students to meet with their teachers outside of their classes is encouraged.

Site administrators shall monitor the homework practices at their site to ensure compliance with District policy and regulation (i.e. homework coordination, posting of homework assignments, etc.). Site administrators shall review course syllabi and department policies to ensure accordance with Board policies, regulations, and Education Code.

School faculty and curricular departments are encouraged to establish common homework practices that are compliant with District policy and regulations. Site administrators will support teachers and staff to coordinate with one another and establish deadlines, due dates for projects/assignments, and assessment schedules in an effort to minimize student overextension and unrealistic expectations. Sites are encouraged to create a homework matrix or grid that delineates approximate homework time for each of their offered courses.

As necessary, site administrators will provide professional development on effective homework strategies and practices. Site administrators will coordinate school-wide resources and practices that support homework completion. In addition, the site administrators will inform parents of the site's homework practices and expectations.

Makeup Work for Student Absences

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)

Students who miss school work because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students shall receive full credit (no deductions for late submissions) for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. (Education Code 48205)

Students who miss school work because of unexcused absences may be given the opportunity to make up missed work for full or reduced credit. Teachers shall assign such makeup work as necessary to ensure academic progress, not as a punitive measure.

The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may provide the student makeup work for missed assignments and tests during the suspension. (Education Code 48913)

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Honors, and Accelerated Courses

Students who choose to enroll in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Honors, or accelerated courses should expect higher homework loads; however, all of the above administrative regulations apply.

The District encourages students to consider the number of higher level classes in which they enroll and the impact on their overall personal well-being, school/life balance, and ability to manage their time. Students should expect to allocate time in their schedules for self-directed study and expect increased homework in higher level classes.

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

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

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


approved: June 21, 2018 San Mateo, California