Know your School, District, and State Guidelines on Summer Homework

Yesterday, I wrote about just a few of the reasons I am opposed to summer homework. Of course that doesn’t mean I am opposed to reading for pleasure, learning for pleasure, or pursuing one’s passions. I’m just opposed to the school sending home the same kind of work it sends home during the school year – work that is mostly an afterthought, is busywork, and doesn’t engage a student.

Before you resign yourself to summer homework, though, make sure that your school is complying with all policies and guidelines.

Take a few minutes and check your school’s policy. You might be surprised to find that it forbids summer homework. If it does, just give your school principal a friendly call and remind her/him of the policy. But if your school policy doesn’t prohibit summer homework, don’t stop there. Be sure to check the district and state guidelines as well.

This is how you check the state guidelines:

Google your state name and Board of Education. When you get to your state’s website, put “summer homework” into the search box. If you don’t come up with anything, call the contact number and ask whether there are statewide guidelines on summer homework. If the person who answers the phone tells you that s/he doesn’t know, don’t give up. Ask who might be able to help you and ask to be transferred. If need be, go all the way to the Commissioner. All told, you won’t spend more than 5-10 minutes.

TOMORROW: What I discovered when I followed the above advice.

13 Comments on “Know your School, District, and State Guidelines on Summer Homework”

  1. Erica says:

    I just contacted our state’s (Ohio) Board of Education and was told that summer homework is handled by the district and not the state.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 am
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  2. Sara Bennett says:

    It makes sense to call the school first, the district second, the state third, but you don’t have to call in that order. Did you call the district? If yes, what did you discover?

    June 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm
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  3. Erica says:

    I didn’t call the district because we’ve already been sending emails to the superintendent (and principal) telling him why we think summer homework is wrong and have gotten no response whatsoever. This has been going on for over a year. I assume that the superintendent would know if there is a policy that doesn’t allow homework in the summer. The principal told my husband that summer is an extension of the school year and my husband stated that there are very clear beginnings and endings to the semesters and the principal backed down on that point, but assured him that teachers aren’t being “vindictive” by assigning summer homework.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 1:17 pm
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  4. Sara Bennett says:

    Erica–Don’t you hate it when advocacy doesn’t get the response you want? The question is, what to do next. Would you consider boycotting summer homework? Would you be able to get some of the other parents to join in? What repercussions would your child face if s/he didn’t do the summer homework? If it’s a lowered grade, would you care? If it’s exclusion from an honors or AP class would you (or your child) be able to abide that? Do you think it’s worth litigating?

    These are just some of the questions that come to my mind. I’m quite certain other readers have ideas as well.

    Readers…. Your ideas?

    June 2nd, 2010 at 4:27 pm
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  5. Erica says:

    Thanks for your reply! I was happy to see you have a Facebook group and two of my friends have already joined.

    Yes, I absolutely hate it when advocacy doesn’t get the response I want. We’ve had many issues with the schools and they are so difficult to deal with because they won’t budge on anything.

    I have spoken to other parents about the summer assignments and they don’t seem to care at all. Some say they don’t like it, but aren’t willing to do anything about it. Others actually like it because they feel it keeps their kids busy. I’ve had zero support on this issue from other parents.

    If my children don’t do their summer assignments, then their grades will suffer. Both are straight “A” students in a very competitive high school and would rather just do the work than lower their GPA. Plus, I’m not sure that they want to be “different” than the other students by not doing the work. All English classes have summer reading, but the honors classes have more to do than the general classes.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 8:26 pm
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  6. Jill H. says:

    Couldn’t find anything on CA’s BOE website, or my actual home District (Lemon Grove), but DD actually attends a school in San Diego Unified, and their dictrict policy apparently as follows:

    Regular Homework. The Board of Education has directed that all students be assigned homework and that the amount be gradually increased from a few minutes
    per day in the early grades to two or more hours in high school. So far as possible, homework is adjusted to the goals, abilities, and interests of students. Some students may require more time for study than others, and different subjects require different amounts of homework. Therefore, the amount of homework per day may vary, but it is expected that all students will be responsible for completing some homework.

    I could find nothing specifically on Summer Homework. Thankfully DD attends a charter school that has in general a “no homework” policy…(kids get sufficient time and help in class to do all work, although if the kids goof off the work will be sent home to be completed there) which I think is fair.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 pm
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  7. Jill H. says:

    oh, and interestingly, I found several SD Unified’s Schools seem to quanify the old 10 min per grade rule, but with various modifications.the most common seems to be 10 min “Homework” and at least 30 min of reading or being read to per night..which seems like 40 min of homework for K-1 to me…and excessive.

    June 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 pm
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  8. Jill H. says:

    I need to make a correction, Lemon Grove School District does have a Homework policy – although again, I couldn’t find anything on summer homework.

    District Policy:

    School-Site Homework Plan

    The principal and staff at each school shall develop and regularly review a school-site homework plan which includes guidelines for the assignment of homework and describes the responsibilities of students, staff, and parents/guardians. The plan shall identify all of the following:

    1. For each grade level, the amount of time that students shall be expected to spend on homework

    2. For each grade level, the extent to which homework assignments shall systematically involve participation by parents/guardians

    3. The means by which parents/guardians shall be informed about:

    a. Homework expectations

    b. How homework relates to the student’s grades

    c. How best to help their children

    4. Techniques that will be taught to help students allocate their time wisely, meet their deadlines, and develop good personal study habits

    5. The access that students shall have to obtain:

    a. Resource materials from the library media center

    b. Assistance and/or tutoring through telephone help lines and/or after-school centers

    6. The means by which teachers shall coordinate assignments so that students do not receive an overload of homework one day and very little the next

    7. For each grade level, the extent to which homework assignments shall emphasize independent research, reports, special reading, and problem-solving activities

    June 5th, 2010 at 4:18 pm
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  9. Viagra. says:

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    January 13th, 2011 at 9:43 pm
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  10. ödev says:

    oh, and interestingly, I found several SD Unified’s Schools seem to quanify the old 10 min per grade rule, but with various modifications.the most common seems to be 10 min “Homework” and at least 30 min of reading or being read to per night..which seems like 40 min of homework for K-1 to me…and excessive.

    June 15th, 2011 at 1:35 pm
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    March 6th, 2012 at 6:09 pm
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  12. victor Rones says:

    too much homework in secondary schools damages Childrens growing up .
    Call if you agree .

    September 16th, 2014 at 3:26 pm
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  13. StudentLance says:

    I think you need to contact the school authorities regarding your summer homework and if you did not any feedback or response as you desired then go to higher administration locally or states wise. I do not think summer homework is big issue and it’s a better time to get the course quickly.

    In the event that my youngsters don’t do their summer homework assignments, then their evaluations will endure. Both are straight “An” understudies in an exceptionally focused secondary school and would rather simply do the work than bring down their GPA. Besides, I’m not certain that they need to be “diverse” than alternate understudies by not doing the work. All English classes have summer perusing, however the distinctions classes have more to do than the general classes.

    Now, in modern age you have many options regarding your homework help online.

    Wish you best of luck!

    December 8th, 2014 at 6:46 am
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