Parents Organize in Danville, California

Today’s guest blogger is Kerry Dickinson, the mother of two middle school age boys, a former middle and high school teacher, a current part-time substitute teacher, and a stay at home mother. She, and Julie Kurtz, the mother of two teens, a Mental Health Director, and a licensed marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco East Bay as well as teacher at a local Junior College, are actively working to change homework policy in their community.

How We’re Organizing in Danville, California
by Kerry Dickinson

Julie, and I have been spear-heading a movement to get our district (San Ramon Valley Unified District – SRVUSD) to re-evaluate its outdated homework policy, written in 1995.

We’ve started an email distribution list (currently at about 80 people) and have sent out a general survey about homework to collect initial data to present to the district. We ended up with about 60 completed surveys which I put into an Excel file.

Julie and I met with the Director of Instruction, Student Services, at our district on November 27. He seemed genuinely concerned with our issue. We gave him the results of our survey and he agreed to study it and get back to us.

A week later, he called Julie and told her that he met with the Educational Services Cabinet in the SRVUSD and they discussed homework. He indicated the group shares our concern about homework and the outdated policy we have. He stated after the winter break that a task force group would be developed to address the homework issue in our community as well as the homework policy. This task force would be comprised of a wide variety of stakeholders who can fairly represent the opinions that vary throughout the San Ramon Valley, including parents. They did not know who would be on it or how it would be developed or even how large or small it would be. This is yet to be decided.

So, at this point, we are cautiously optimistic about meeting with the district after the break to begin to form a task force and move forward with rewriting the outdated homework policy.

In the meantime, we continue to write editorials to the local paper and keep communicating with parents on our homework email list about any relevant issues that pertain to this homework issue.

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