This letter explains the homework policy for Jefferson School. Please read the policy with your child so that you understand the expectations of students and parents with regard to homework. Following these guidelines can help decrease tension associated with homework and increase your child’s learning. Jefferson School provides homework for the following three purposes: (1) to give students opportunities to practice skills, (2) to prepare students for a new topic, or (3) to elaborate on introduced material. Homework assigned as practice commonly increases students’ speed and accuracy relative to the skill they are learning. When homework is assigned to introduce a topic, the goal is to help students access prior knowledge about the topic. A homework assignment that asks students to elaborate on a topic might require them to engage in activities that extend their knowledge, such as conducting research, comparing items, or constructing support for an argument. As homework is assigned throughout the year we will identify the purpose for each assignment and communicate it to the students.
For your child to be successful with homework, he/she needs:
To use homework assignment sheets. This year Jefferson School is requiring all students to write down their homework assignments in a student planner. Jefferson is committed to student success, so money was appropriated to provide each student with a planner. Planner checks will occur periodically throughout the trimester and daily student partner checks will be used to ensure that students are recording the correct assignments.
Your interest in education. Every day ask your child about school and what happened there. Know what your child is currently working on in each subject and what homework must be completed. Leave enough time to review homework together each night. This gives you an opportunity to offer important praise and feedback. Acknowledging accomplishments daily will reinforce learning and boost your child’s confidence.
A place to do homework. If possible, your child should do his/her homework in the same place (an uncluttered, quiet space to study) each night.
A schedule for completing homework. Most children work better with a regular time and place for doing homework. Right after a meal or snack time often works well. Don’t leave homework until right before bedtime. Although, research suggests that reviewing for tests or study flash cards right before bed helps students retain information.
Encouragement, motivation, and prompting. It is not a good idea to sit with your child and do homework. Your child needs to practice independently and to apply what he/she has learned in class. If your child consistently cannot complete homework assignments alone, please contact the teacher.
Understanding of the knowledge. When your child is practicing a skill, ask which steps he/she finds difficult and easy and how he/she plans to improve speed and accuracy with the skill. If your child is working on a project, ask what knowledge he/she is using to complete the work. If your child consistently cannot answer the questions, please contact the teacher.
Reasonable time expectations. Students attending Jefferson school are expected to complete up to 90 minutes of homework (60 minutes in 5th grade) four days per week. It is also important to help your child prioritize homework and manage their time on long-term projects. If your child seems to be spending too much time each night on homework, please contact the teacher.
Teachers will grade or record homework assignments for content and provide appropriate feedback. If your child turns in an assignment late, it will be accepted for partial credit. No assignment will be accepted more that 2 days late.
Homework in every class at Jefferson will not constitute more than 20 percent of the final grade. While homework is important, classwork, daily assessments, and final evaluations provide the best feedback on whether or not your child has met the standards.
Extra credit assignments will be left to the discretion of the individual teacher, but at no time will constitute more than 5 percent of the total grade.
Please read and discuss the policy with your child. If you have any questions about homework expectations, please contact one of your child’s teachers.