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Homework Policy

Purpose and Rationale

The purpose of this policy is to advance the academic achievement of PSD students. While debate over the topic of homework rages on in the Education Community, PSD holds fast to its belief that homework can support student achievement and that students who do homework tend to be motivated learners, who perform to their potential in school. Homework should be consistently given, should be primarily for reinforcement, should be able to be completed fairly independently and should receive timely feedback. Homework also has the potential for increasing parent involvement. In addition to our rationale for homework, PSD also firmly believes that children need downtime, sleep, family time, and less than a 40-hour workweek.


For the purpose of this policy, academic areas are defined as Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. For younger students (ages 7-11), for whom homework is appropriate, homework will be given no fewer than three nights per week in at least one academic area. For older students (ages 11-21), homework will be given no fewer than four nights per week in at least two academic areas. These assignments will be in addition to on-going or long-term project assignments.

Each student will be required to have an assignment book or folder, provided by the school, in which all homework assignments are recorded. For younger students, parents will be required to sign or initial the book for each night that homework is given. For older students, parents are not required to sign homework books but teachers may require parent signatures for specific classes or individual students. Teachers may also request feedback from parents regarding homework assignments. (See attached sample.)

The benefits of well designed, quality homework outweigh simply having a lot of homework. More does not necessarily mean better or more rigorous expectations. Homework will be assigned in accordance with the following guidelines:

      • Assignments should be able to be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable may be defined in terms of the students' age, developmental level and educational level. Based on research findings, the National Education Association (NEA) recommends a maximum of 10 minutes per grade level per night. PSD will implement the following time guidelines:

Student Ages - Maximum Amount of Time

5-7 years old -teacher discretion,15-minute maximum

7-9 years old -up to 30 minutes

9-11 years old -up to 45 minutes

11-13 years old -up to one hour

13-21 years old -up to 2 ½ hours

Assignments should reinforce skills, content and concepts taught in the classroom and promote work habits (independence, responsibility, time management, study skills). The best homework assignments meet developmental needs and:

                    • allow students to feel competent
                    • allow students to share information about themselves, their lives, their interests
                    • allow students to express their feelings or opinions
                    • provide meaningful practice/inquiry
                    • require active engagement, hands-on learning or other physical activity
                    • allow for student choice
                    • are adaptable to individual need
                    • include positive contact with parents/family
      • Preview reading assignments should have some type of follow-up during class time. Independent reading assignments are also encouraged, as appropriate.
      • Homework assignments should be returned to students with constructive feedback within an instructionally relevant and reasonable amount of time. In-class supports, review, re-teaching should also be used as appropriate, based on student understanding of the homework. Homework will be no more than 10-15% of a student's grade. For High School, it will be no more than 25% of a student's grade.

One of the primary goals of homework is to help students learn accountability. Giving a zero for incomplete homework alone does not hold a student accountable for the work that needs to be done. Accountability is having the student finish the work. Implementation and monitoring of homework will include the following guidelines:

      • Students who do not complete homework assignments in a timely or satisfactory manner will be given the opportunity to work on homework during other designated times of the school day.

Other pre-scheduled weekly "Have-To"/Study Lab times within the team
Specially designed supports for individual students, as needed

Middle School
Middle School Social Break time
Other pre-scheduled times within the team
Specially designed supports for individual students, as needed

High School
Study Lab
Study Hall
Specially designed supports for individual students, as needed
      • Parents who do not meet the requirements of signing the homework book will be contacted immediately and strongly encouraged to support this process.
      • Principals will monitor the assignment of homework and will collect examples of homework assignments.
      • While flexibility is allowable, it is expected that all staff will consistently follow this policy. Any amendments to the policy for individual teams/classrooms must be approved by the Principal.