Sierra Middle School’s Homework Policy
April 7, 2017
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Sierra Middle School has a homework policy, students have had suspicions that the policy is being violated either by teachers assigning more homework than the policy allows or by assignments that take longer than teachers think.
The Sierra Middle School Staff Handbook states that teams shouldn’t assign more than 50 minutes of homework a night, averaging ten minutes per class, while projects must be broken into manageable and monitored chunks. It also says that electives shouldn’t assign more than ten minutes per night. Staff must also provide timely feedback to students that reinforces learning. However, when teachers were asked how much homework they assign, their responses did not always match with the policy.
Kelley said the students aren’t supposed to have more than 90 minutes a night with no homework on the weekends. Students usually have 15 to 20 minutes a night with minimal Compass Learning for her class.
When elective teachers were asked about how much homework they gave, most gave the same response of no homework besides unfinished classwork.
Consumer and Family Studies teacher, Becky Allums, said she very rarely gives homework and it’s only if students don’t finish their classwork.
Math teachers tended to give similar answers to language arts teachers, 20 to 30 minutes a night.
“It depends on the week. I’d say about thirty minutes per night,” said Hawk math teacher, Patricia Sanger
Phoenix math teacher, Karen Keller, said she assigns 30 minutes of Algebra homework a night, and 15 to 20 minutes for Math 8
“I normally get 10 to 20 minutes of language arts if we’re doing a project and 20 minutes of math,” said Josie Wolitzky, a team Phoenix student. Wolitzky is in Math 8.
“It depends on how much work we get done. On block days they have an extra day. The only standing homework we have is an hour of Compass Learning per week,” said Hawk language arts teacher, Jana Coufal.
“I have math and language arts homework almost every night. I have about 15 to 30 minutes of math and around 30 to 45 minutes of language arts homework a night,” said Jace Stubbs, an 8th grader on Team Hawk.
“I usually assign 30-45 minutes a night but never on the weekends,” said Wolf Creek’s math teacher Diane Watson.
Wolf Creek language arts teacher, Neana Lueck, said she assigns, “a mandatory 20 minutes everyday, and it’s usually reading.”
Similar answers were given from Wolf Creek students about the amount of math homework received from Watson, but students receive additional homework on top of the mandatory 20 minutes of language arts work assigned by Lueck.
“For math I usually have 45 minutes and an hour for language arts.” said Wolf Creek 7th grader, Ashlyn Cross.
At least some teachers know there is a policy as indicated by Amanda Grosskrueger when she said during a conversation about homework with Phoenix teachers, “Make sure you don’t say more than ten minutes.”