Moms (and Dads) on a Mission–More from Berea, Kentucky

If you caught yesterday’s blog post, then you can skip down a paragraph to find out how the Middle and High School responded to Jodie Leidecker’s email about reducing or eliminating homework.

Jodie Leidecker, a mother of two from Berea, Kentucky, who has been involved in the movement to save recess, wrote to tell me that she was planning to approach her Site-based decision making council (Kentucky’s schools governing boards) about a low or no homework policy. In an effort to enlist some parental support in advance, she “stood outside the car rider lines in elementary school and middle/high school and handed out copies of the fact sheet” from The Case Against Homework. Also in advance, she and a few other parents sent emails to the Board.

Jodie heard back from the Principal of the Middle and High School that there already is a homework policy in place.

    *7th – 12th grade: Generally up to 2 hours each day, but recommendations vary according to the type and number of subjects a student is taking.

    *Teachers at each level shall coordinate to ensure that these homework guidelines are being followed. Teachers shall follow up on any parent or student requests for assistance with homework assignments.

The principal went on to tell Jodie that the Site Council “has tackled this issue on several occasions over the last several years and perhaps we need to revisit the issue once more. Our desire has been to maintain a rigorous course offering (which does include homework–to reinforce skills learned in the classroom and class projects–that demonstrate the application of the skills learned in the classroom). With this having been said, we do acknowledge the time requirements placed upon our students by after school jobs, athletics and extra/co curricular activities. This indeed can require a delicate balancing act by students that are impacted by these scenarios to say the least.”

He then told her that he “really liked your ‘family friendly’ ideas, and we have previously discussed some of them as options. We have refrained from including them in a policy related to homework due the vastness of secondary curriculum.” He invited her to attend the next meeting and told her, “If you would like for this issue to be on our agenda we can add it to our discussion tomorrow evening.”

Jodie told me she attended the next meeting, “and the council agreed to do a survey of teachers’/parents’/students’ homework experiences. They did not take any other certain action, but they were nice and listened, so I am hopeful that this is a good beginning of a change. ”

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