CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Have you read your child's most recent newsletters from their teachers? There could have been a section on there that informed you that there is a new district policy that states homework will no longer be calculated for accuracy for grades K-2nd.
While this may be a reason to jump for joy for some, other parents are concerned about what this decision could possibly lead to. Students in Kindergarten through the second grade will not be graded for work that is supposed to be done at home now, but the board says that they highly recommend keeping up the practice at home.
The Savannah-Chatham School Board says they came up with this decision because of research that shows doing homework isn't beneficial, but they still encourage it.
"The research clearly showed that K-2 homework did not really have an effect on student achievement. Upper grades, it did," said Kimberly Hancock, SCCPSS. "We're following the research and we're supporting them with keeping the learning warm and doing their stuff at home, but also at the same time, not hindering them because they don't have the support system at home."
The Board of Public Education endorses the use of homework to promote student learning. Valid purposes for utilizing homework are the following:
- a. to promote growth in self-responsibility and self-direction in learning;
- b. to enrich and expand creative opportunities for learning; and
- c. to promote essential practice in developing skills.
The teacher will assign homework as necessary to meet instructional objectives and to use the homework in a timely manner to evaluate and monitor student progress. The teacher must provide feedback to students and must provide time for discussion and questions by students about homework assignments.
Homework becomes more valuable when there is a strong partnership between home and school. The role of the school is to assign meaningful homework. Homework assignments will be checked for completion and accuracy. So that homework assignments will not be excessive or prove to be an undue burden on students, consideration should be given to extra-curricular and community activities, and to cultural pursuits when planning homework assignments. Advanced courses will require additional homework. Homework is not to be used as a form of punishment under any circumstances.
While Savannah has nine major failing schools in the area, parents are concerned about the students who don't have that extra support at home.
"Within the school, we have built-in flex times, intervention times, with work they are unable to complete."
While some parents are for this decision...
"They should not grade it, but they should ask the parents to continue working with the child," said parent, Olga Loving.
Some had mixed feelings about it too...
"I think I have mixed feelings about it. I understand where they are coming from because the first few years, I figure they think homework isn't that important, so I can see where they think grading isn't that important because they aren't really getting to the important stuff," said parent, Caitlin Chu. "Definitely graded if they are failing or not doing so well, then how are we supposed to know how they are doing or what they are doing in school, and homework is kind of your own way of seeing how they are doing."
The district says they don't want you to panic, they will make sure those students stay warm with learning.