In November, I wrote about how Jodie Leidecker, a mother of two from Berea, Kentucky, who has been involved in the movement to save recess, had started to organize other parents to see about getting a low or no homework policy in her district. (You can read the previous entries here and here.)The principal wrote to her to tell her that there was already a homework policy in place, but invited her to a meeting of the Site Council the following day to discuss the issue further. There, they talked about surveying the parents to find out current attitudes on homework.
About a month later, Jodie heard again from the principal. He told her that the Board was leaning towards not surveying the parents, but again he invited her to give him “her perspective.” So Jodie wrote to him:
My perspective is that we would be losing a valuable and needed survey that would give us great insight and help improve our children’s school experience. I know that many parents are concerned about this issue. Our policy is bare-bones and leaves much to interpretation, but why should we settle for merely adequate when we can make all kinds of progressive, family-friendly changes? We could even try a two-week no homework period if all parties agree. There is so much we can do to support our kids and I strongly believe that we should make all efforts to do so. The question we should be asking is not “Isn’t this good enough?” but “Is there something more we can do to improve the lives (and learning) of the kids we are serving?” Revamping the homework policy is one way we can show the kids of BCHS and their families that our school is responsive to their needs and willing to go the extra mile for them.
Apparently the principal was convinced by Jodie’s response; he invited her to the next monthly site-based council meeting for further discussion of the issue.