A major goal of the instructional program is to assist students in becoming committed to the process of learning. Learning is not restricted to the classroom, but is a continuous process. The school offers opportunities and assignments that stimulate within the student a thirst for knowledge and the desire to pursue solutions to problems. The home is a vital partner in this process and a systematic approach to homework can assist the teacher, parent, and student in achieving common learning goals.
The basic objective of homework is the reinforcement, application, and maintenance of previously introduced concepts, principles, and skills. Homework assignments should be designed to reinforce and apply that which has been introduced and explained in the classroom. Homework should be started under the guidance of a teacher and continued at home.
In addition, homework is an important tool in developing independent thought, self-direction, and self-discipline. It can assist the student in developing good work habits and in the wise use of time.
Homework can provide an essential communication link between the school and the home. A strong home-school partnership, with lasting benefits for the individual student and his/her family, can be enhanced by a sound program of homework. Working together, home and school can guide the student as knowledge is discovered and independence is achieved.
Guidelines for homework include:
- Homework should be assigned after introduction and thorough explanation of the skills necessary to successfully complete the assignment.
- Homework should be assigned in such a manner that it will be clearly understood by all students.
- Homework should be aligned with instructional standards and individual student learning goals.
- A student's access to resource materials should be considered when making assignments.
- Homework should be reviewed promptly for comprehension of skills and concepts and returned to the student with appropriate feedback. Effort and competency should be recognized.
- Teachers should seek to determine the causes if a student regularly fails to complete assigned work. Teachers should not avoid giving homework because they believe students will not do the work.
- Excessive homework, like the absence of homework, should be avoided. Teachers in kindergarten through grade eight should coordinate homework assignments to eliminate excessive overloading. Principals at the high school should facilitate communication on the topic of homework assignments. Routine assignments on weekends and holidays are discouraged.
- Homework should not be used for disciplinary purposes.
- Teachers and administrators should take appropriate steps to communicate with parents regarding the division's homework policy and to solicit their support. Parents should be asked to provide a place for study, to help students develop study habits, to show interest in the work being done, and to provide written explanation when problems arise and the student cannot complete homework.
- Teachers should assist students to develop productive habits surrounding homework, including responsibility for understanding and recording directions and assignments, putting effort into assignments, and turning in on-time, legible, accurate, and meaningful products.
Adopted: October 10, 2000 Revised: August 12, 2008; November 10, 2009
Legal Refs.: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Section 22.1-78.
Cross Ref.: IB—Academic Freedom