Committee Hears Elementary, High School Homework Presentations
The two homework policies have been revised to reflect unique learning styles of students.
Lynne Burke, Coventry High School Assistant Principal for Student Services and Tiogue School Principal Louise Seitsinger presented revised elementary and secondary homework policies from the Committee's consideration. Both policies have similar goals and beliefs represented at the middle school level, but are tailored to different age groups.
Elementary Homework Policy
Mrs. Seitsinger explained that a committee of three administrators and nine teachers conducted research and surveys of fellow teachers in order to determine what the purpose of homework should be and what types of homework would meet this criteria. It was determined that homework at the elementary level should enhance student achievement, create independent learners, develop good work habits and provide feedback on learning progress. This information was reviewed against the current district policy and policies from various school systems to create a draft homework policy.
Another important aspect of the presentation was the development of various tiers of responsibility. According to the presentation, teachers, students, parents and administrators should all be held accountable for student progress. "All of us have a role in helping support students with homework," said Mrs. Seitsinger.
High School Homework Policy
When presenting the high school homework policy draft, Mrs. Burke explained that one of the main goals was to make sure that students know the value of homework and how it enhances their learning. "Homework has many different roles at the high school level," she said.
A team of educators was put in place to determine how homework fits in the high school environment and how teachers utilize homework assignments in connection with classroom lessons and assessments.
"We wanted to get a pulse of the faculty,"Mrs. Burke continued. "We sent out an initial survey to teachers and then a subsequent survey to verify the responses."
As stated in the elementary school draft, the high school policy also puts a major focus on the accountability of students, teachers, administrators and parents when it comes to students getting the most from their homework assignments. Mrs. Burke stressed the importance of independent learning as modern teaching models such as the newly-introduced "virtual learning" are becoming widely used.
Superintendent Michael Convery pointed out his appreciation for the fact that not long ago, there may have been as many different homework policies as there were teachers.
"This may not be perfected yet, but it is a big step forward considering how quickly so many policies were merged," he said.
"These policies are wonderful steps toward consistency," said Committee member Nancy Sprenglemeyer.
The first readings of the policies were completed by the Committee and will be available to review for two weeks before a second reading will be voted on. (To view both policies, see the attached PDF files or the district website.)