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Homework Policy Will Be Discussed at Next CUSD Meeting

Campbell Union School District is reviewing its policy over homework in light of parent responses.

has listened to the parents and is reviewing its existing policies concerning homework.

The district invited more than 350 parents to come together and screen the film, Race to Nowhere on Jan. 11 at and a lively discussion on the film's arguments put parents and administrators on equal playing ground. One of the film’s themes was the lack of sleep following staggering amounts of homework.

After more than an hour of discussion, 47 response cards were filled out and submitted with concerns about the amount of homework, the district's homework policy, whether homework could be reduced or eliminated and how educators connect with their students.

The topic of homework and homework load is not a new one.

“It goes both ways,” says Superintendent Eric Andrew. “In some cases, parents say there’s not enough, and others say it’s too much.”

The district homework policy offers guidelines, including reading assignments, to educators on the appropriate amount of homework by grade level.

  • 10-20 minutes a night for students in kindergarten through second grades.
  • 30-60 minutes a night for students in third through sixth grades.
  • 60-120 minutes a night for students in the seventh and eighth grades.

“I think that homework, if given appropriately, is an important part of the learning process,” Andrew says. “We just need to make sure that the homework is relevant.”

He will review the homework policy with his staff and present his recommendations to the school board on March 24.

“It’s always good to look at the policy ... and make sure we are all on the same page,” he says.

Alan Zisser March 10, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Be interested in hearing the argument details against homework. The numbers listed seem reasonable, although 2 hours a night is a little high for 7th-8th graders. Problem always is that some kids can do homework in an hour, while other kids struggle and may take twice as long. How then do you decide what an hour of homework is? Math and science, which everyone is pushing, can be the toughest when it comes to homework. Kids that find math easy, may whip through it in 30 minutes, while many will struggle for much longer. Especially as math gets more complex in higher grades.
RSmall March 11, 2011 at 12:18 AM
I"d be interested in the argument FOR homework, especially for Kindergarten. CUSD already has the only full day Kindergarten classes in our area. I think homework for entry level kids is excessive.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte March 11, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Alan, Thank you for your comment. From what I heard the night of Jan. 11, the argument against homework is that when students are spending hours a night, losing sleep and becoming anxious over it, this then reflects in the way they behave in the class and can also affect their health. If you haven't already, check out the film if you can. It has an interesting arch and brings up some interesting points. It also documents students and educations in the Bay Area. But like you said, it just might boil down to how long it takes a child to complete the homework, not what the estimated time for completion is. Again, thanks for reading and offering your perspective.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte March 11, 2011 at 02:16 AM
RSmall, Actually, our neighbor San Jose Unified School District also has full day Kindergarten classes. My son isn't in kinder yet (will be in the fall) so I'm not sure what homework for a kindergartner looks like. Do you have small children with homework? Thanks for your insight!
RSmall March 11, 2011 at 02:36 AM
I don't have any small children with homework, yet. Like you, my son wwill start K in the fall. (Which is technically still summer...don't get me started).

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