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Homework Guidelines

Approved by the Instructional Improvement Council: January 27, 2014 

Purpose

This is a research-based statement of best practices for the design, assignment, and completion of homework at Albany High School. All participants (students, parents/caregivers, and teachers) are strongly encouraged to reflect on their practices and align them with the guidelines outlined below.

Statement of Principle

Quality homework is a function of quality teaching. Its design reflects the fact that students differ in readiness, learning style, motivation, and organizational skills. Homework that is not completed does not contribute to learning.

Goal of Homework

Enhance and extend the learning that occurs in the classroom and develop students as independent learners.

Purpose of Homework

The purpose of homework is to provide feedback to the student and teacher about how learning is progressing. Therefore, teachers will assign quality homework tasks that are essential to student learning. The tasks may be for pre-learning, checking for understanding, practice, and/or processing. They may be comprised of the following types of learning – facts, concepts, principles, attitudes, and/or skills.

Quality Homework Described

The academic value of a homework task is clearly communicated and easily understood by students. It supports classroom learning and is intended to instill independence in the learner. One size does not fit all, thus homework could be differentiated by difficulty, through scaffolding provided, or by learning style or interest.

Feedback

Effective feedback comes from clear goals, prioritized concepts and skills towards mastery, and content pared down to a manageable amount. Feedback should reflect what students really learned, not what was completed. If penalties for late work are necessary, feedback for learning could be separated from feedback for work habits.

Responsibility of the Teacher

  • To design homework tasks which are aligned with the descriptions above 
  • To provide effective feedback in a timely fashion 
  • Use results of homework to plan future instructional activities 
  • Avoid new assignments over holiday and vacation time (AP/Honors classes may have requirements during breaks) 

Responsibility of the Student

  • Spend approximately 30 minutes of focused, non-distracted effort on homework per class meeting (AP/Honors classes will take more time) and turn work in on the date due. 
  • Engage in self-assessment, identify areas for improvement, and take the initiative to address areas of difficulty. 
  • Clarify with the teacher any instructions or content not understood 
  • Keep an up-to-date agenda for homework and other assignments and their due dates 
  • Arrange a proper study area that is relatively free from distraction 

Responsibility of the Parent/Guardian

  • Set up and ensure a comfortable, well-lit, relatively distraction-free environment for doing homework 
  • Help with your student’s organization by checking the homework agenda, making sure your student has necessary supplies, has sufficient time to do the work, and is keeping up with assignments (check record on Aeries). 
  • Show interest in your student’s work by discussing what is being learned. 
  • Watch for signs of failure or frustration. Troubleshoot with the student and teacher solutions to the problems of misunderstandings, time management, and learning progress.