The Sudbury Public Schools Homework Committee, comprised of teachers, administrators, and mental health staff from both the elementary and middle school levels, met over the course of the 2017-2018 school year to research the effect of homework on student achievement and the impact of homework on student life. In addition to reading current research about homework, the committee also conducted surveys with students, staff, and parents and analyzed these results, along with results of the middle school Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey. Based on this work, the Committee has made the following recommendations.
Reading regularly is closely tied to student achievement and is strongly encouraged at all grade levels. Independent reading, texts chosen by the reader, has consistently been found to relate to achievement in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, and general information.
At the upper elementary and middle school level, we encourage students to connect with their teachers directly about their learning. If they are unable to complete an assignment or the assignment is taking longer than the homework guideline times, we want them to talk to their teacher. Parents are always invited to contact the teachers as well.
- Homework assignments will be related to instructional objectives and reinforce classroom learning. Teachers will strive to ensure that students understand the purpose of the assignment and can complete the work independently.
- Teachers will take into consideration students’ individual needs and available home resources when assigning homework.
- Homework assignments will provide opportunities for concept and skill development through review and enrichment experiences.
- Completed homework assignments will be reviewed by the teacher to check for student understanding. Instructional follow-up will occur.
- Homework will not be assigned on designated religious holidays, over long weekends (3-days or more), or during vacation weeks. Weekend homework will not be assigned at all for students in grades K-5. Homework may be given over the weekend in grades 6-8; however, the total time for weekend homework will not exceed the prescribed time for a single evening’s study.
- Homework will not exceed the recommended guidelines below. With long-term projects, teachers will break tasks into manageable chunks that can be completed within these guidelines.
Grade Homework Time Limits per Night
K-2 No homework other than occasional activities at teacher discretion
3 0-20 minutes per night maximum, occasional assignments given M-Th
4 0-30 minutes per night maximum, assignments given M-Th only
5 0-45 minutes per night maximum, assignments given M-Th only
6 0-60 minutes per night maximum
7 0-75 minutes per night maximum
8 0-90 minutes per night maximum
Subject teachers will coordinate assignments and assessments so that maximums are not exceeded. Subject teachers, including World Language, will strive to minimize the number of assessments on the same day. Team teachers will work to limit major assessments to one per day and not to exceed two per day.