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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 6-54.2

INSTRUCTION

Homework - Middle

Homework is an extension and enrichment of the material taught in the classroom. It is designed to reinforce and extend classroom learning, prepare students for new information, and promote creative thinking and independent research.

Homework is defined as tasks assigned to students by schoolteachers that are intended to be completed outside the regular classroom instruction. Homework is a tool to provide teachers with critical feedback on how well students understand the concepts, skills, and information presented in class. In certain circumstances, homework assignments may prepare students for the introduction of new information and may also include reading assignments, projects, and book reports.

Reference: Grading and Reporting Student Progress (in the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools).

RESPONSIBILITIES

If homework is to be used successfully, teachers, students, parents, and administrators must assume certain responsibilities.

  1. Teachers
    1. Teachers will establish routines for assigning homework.
    2. Core team teachers will collaborate to ensure that students do not have an inordinate number of major/long-range assignments due at the same time.
    3. Teachers will use discretion in assigning homework. Assignments should be based on the needs of the class and/or student and may be of short or extended duration. Not all homework is written, and frequently the assignment may involve reading, review, or study of material and forms of independent research. Projects and long-term assignments should be given sufficiently in advance, with reasonable time to complete all tasks.
    4. Teachers may assign homework Monday through Friday. Although homework/long-range projects may extend over Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Spring Break, they will not be assigned to be completed during those holidays.
    5. Teachers will assign tasks that require the use of only those resources known to be available.
    6. Teachers will provide clear directions to ensure that students understand all assignments. Teachers should state clearly:
      • The purpose of the assignment
      • How the assignment is related to the topic under study
      • How the assignment might best be carried out
      • Whether resources other than the textbook are needed
      • What the student needs to do to demonstrate that the assignment has been completed
      • Due date of the assignment.
    7. Long-range homework assignments can provide meaningful learning experiences for middle school students. With such assignments, keep in mind:
      • A long-range assignment should be viewed as a series of shorter assignments, which call for periodic checking, by the teacher.
      • Any segment of a long-range assignment should not exceed a period of more than four weeks.
      • There needs to be specific written directions for the student including purpose, expectations, procedures to be used, and due dates should be provided.
    8. Teachers will provide feedback and return assignments in a timely manner. Homework will be used in assessing the students' progress by classroom teachers. Consideration should also be given to students for both completion and effort. Long-range assignments, such as book reports and projects may be graded.
    9. Teachers should be aware of the observance of religious holidays when assigning homework.
  2. Students
    1. Students are responsible for recording homework assignments in a planner as appropriate and understanding the directions necessary to complete the assignments.
    2. Students are expected to utilize good time management skills, especially in the completion of projects and long-range assignments. They should manage their time so that checkpoints and deadlines are met.
    3. Students are responsible for completing homework assignments by the established due dates.
    4. Students are responsible for obtaining, completing and submitting assignments missed during absences.
    5. Students are responsible for requesting additional help and/or clarification of instructions for completing assignments from the teacher.
  3. Parents
    1. Parents should not be expected to provide initial instruction on a homework topic or skill.
    2. Parents are responsible for monitoring homework by checking to see that the student has recorded his/her assignments in the student planner and checking for completion.
    3. Parents should arrange for an appropriate learning environment in the home by:
      • Ensuring adequate study time.
      • Providing an atmosphere free from disruptions.
      • Supplying necessary materials such as paper, pencils, pens, dictionaries, and other materials.

      Parents will receive an information guide at the beginning of the school year that lists courses and/or grade level objectives as well as suggestions for providing a good learning environment in the home.

    4. Parents should show a positive interest in homework and school. If problems arise, parents should contact the teacher at the school.
  4. Administrators
    1. Administrators are responsible for communicating and monitoring the implementation of homework guidelines in their respective schools. These guidelines should be included in the faculty and student handbooks. Administrators should refer to the Guidelines for Grading and Reporting Student Progress.
    2. Administrators will assure that homework policies/guidelines are communicated to teachers.
    3. Administrators will refer parents to the appropriate teacher should questions regarding homework/assignments arise.

TIME ALLOCATIONS

Homework is an important part of the academic program at all grade levels. Homework time allocations are recommendations and not meant to be minimum or maximum quotas. The following are suggested time allocations regarding the duration of mandatory assignments given:

It is important to note that some students may need more time and some less time to accomplish an assignment. Additionally, the complexity of assignments in the magnet school, gifted cluster, and advanced classes may require additional time.

NOTE: High school Carnegie credit courses offered at middle school will follow the high school homework regulation (6-54.3).

Approved by Superintendent: December 10, 2001