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How-To: Work with Students' Families

Developing a Homework Policy Lottie Simms

After researching the numerous homework policies at a variety of schools, I have reached one conclusion: homework is an extension of the school day lessons, intended to reinforce skills taught and keep parents aware of what is being taught to their children.

When developing a homework policy for your students it is important that you decide how homework will be checked, graded, and recorded for inclusion in a child's grade. I found some teachers simply check off that homework is done and never take the time to review it. This can become detrimental to the students in the long run. Other teachers put too much emphasis on homework, allowing it to weigh too heavily on the students grade. Regardless of the path you take, you should include the following ideas:

Purpose of Homework:

  • Provide an opportunity for students to practice skills learned in class
  • Provide additional time needed to complete an assignment given during the school day
  • Teach students responsibility and planning
  • Inform parents of the materials being covered

Homework Evaluation:

  • Homework may be evaluated using rubrics created by the teachers.
  • Homework scores are, many times, averaged into the student's grade for a particular subject.
  • It is essential that students do their very best on all assignments and if they turn in their best, they should be graded accordingly.
  • Students can learn many important skills from homework assignments -- especially responsibility for completing assigned work.
  • Depending upon the assignment, homework that is not completed can heavily impact a student's grades.

Homework Responsibilities:

  • The student is to.
  • Do his/her very best on all assignments
  • Complete assignments in a timely fashion as requested by the teacher
  • Contact teachers immediately upon return from absences to arrange to complete all makeup work assigned and to establish when the makeup work is due
  • Complete work as assigned by the teacher when a pre-authorized absence is requested

The parents are to.

  • Provide support, guidance, and the structure needed for their child to successfully complete the assignments
  • Contact the school in a timely fashion via the office regarding absences, to request makeup work
  • Monitor the makeup work of the student who missed class

The teacher is to.

  • Provide instruction in class to support homework
  • Communicate with parents and students on homework to support student success in class
  • Share the evaluation process with students and parents as requested

A homework contract can be drawn up and signed by the teacher, student, and parents at the beginning of the school year outlining everyone's responsibilities, to ensure student success.


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