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Homework Philosophy

When developing and assigning homework for students, the research on homework indicates that a number of factors should be considered. Issues that emerge are homework and achievement, levels of stress, executive function, amount of time on tasks, equity of opportunity to engage homework, gender of students, and cultural factors. These are significant.

The purpose of homework is to provide students with an independent opportunity to reinforce, refine, and reflect on their learning. Skills practice, reading, studying, analysis of audio/video, or completing a project are examples of homework activities.

Homework should be purposeful and connected to classroom learning. Quality of assignment should outweigh quantity.

Digital opportunities shift the boundary between school and home learning. Teachers may engage with this opportunity in new and creative ways. Flipping classrooms, STEAM activities and problem-based learning are new approaches to learning that may alter traditional notions of homework assignments. Teachers will communicate with parents if using such strategies. The guidelines outlined here apply to such opportunities.

Teachers, students, parents and guidance counselors should aim to work as partners in learning. Homework provides such opportunities. The value of positive cooperation and collaboration on learning is immeasurable.

Homework can be a vital tool for enhancing a child’s grasp of the coursework. It’s an opportunity to review, assimilate and prepare for upcoming material. Homework also helps kids learn valuable skills such as:

  • Taking initiative

  • Developing time management skills

  • Learning to love learning

  • Improving a grasp on subjects

  • Understanding the importance of planning and organization

Sources: Back to School


Recommendations for Teachers

  • Provide quality feedback in a timely manner. Offer timely communications if a student is struggling
  • Communicate the purpose of homework, the implications for student learning, and the implications for any grades. 
  • Communicate ideas to parents/guardians on how to assist their children in setting up an environment that optimizes their learning.
  • Communicate with Team and department colleagues. A student is responsible for both core and encore subject material. Guidance counselors are excellent conduits across all subjects and can provide evidence on the student and family experience of homework requirements and assignments.
  • Aim to differentiate homework assignments and offer scaffolds to support independent engagement with the work.
  • Know, and make accommodations for students with 504 or IEPs
  • Teach students study strategies and habits
  • Provide feedback to parents on how to support independent study with commendations or recommendations based on student engagement with assignments.

Recommendations for Parents/Guardians

  • Make homework part of the afternoon/evening routine.  Reinforce the skills associated with homework such as organization, focus, attention to detail and planning.
  • Remember that the goal is student learning, not completion or getting all problems correct.  A student returning with an incorrect answer is more helpful to a teacher than a perfectly done assignment that a parent completed.  
  • Create an environment with limited, or no, distractions to best optimize engagement with homework material.
  • Work in partnership with the teacher to best support the child’s study habits. Build partnerships with your child’s teacher and guidance counselor.
  • Communicate concerns directly with the teacher when a child is struggling with assignments
  • Communicate with the guidance counselor (secondary) or an administrator (elementary) when a child is struggling and a resolution is yet to be reached on how to best help the child
  • Communicate with the Assistant Principal, Principal if, after time spent with the teacher and the guidance counselor on resolving homework challenges, a resolution has yet to be found.

Communicate with Teachers


What if your child is working diligently in an appropriate environment, but seems to require too much direction from you or is struggling to complete homework in a reasonable amount of time? A teacher needs—and wants—to know if a child is having difficulty with material so that he or she can help that child.

Different students will take different amounts of time to complete a homework task, but the range of times should be appropriate to the grade level. The ten-minute homework rule is only an approximate guide. If your child’s homework load seems to be too much, or too little, the teacher needs to know.

Source: Back to School

Homework and Absences from School


Students who miss school because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided. If a child is ill for a short period of a day or two, it is usually not necessary to get homework. Allow the child to get better. Once recovered they can work out any make-up plan with their teacher.

At the secondary level, school counselors can also provide support. Examples of how missing assignments are accessed is via Canvas, reviewing a homework agenda, or reaching out to a homework buddy. School Counselors, at the secondary level, and Administrators, at the elementary level, should be notified of any absences over 5 days so a plan can be developed.

Students suspended from school will be given assignments to complete.

Value and Equity Considerations

When appropriately utilized, homework has the potential to be a valuable aid to help students maximize their learning experience. Homework assignments often vary in quality and purpose; evidence-based research has identified that quality homework assignments state clear objectives, are relevant to students and are grade and age-appropriate in terms of ability and time required.

We understand that homework has the potential to negatively impact family and child interactions, and high quantities of homework not only add to stress but do not necessarily lead to higher achievement outcomes. Additionally, research suggests that students who spend more than the recommended grade-appropriate time on homework experience little to no increase in academic achievement.

Homework that relies heavily on parental input and supervision has the potential to further increase the achievement gap in our schools and create inequity when it fails to take into account the diversity of parents’ or caregivers’ academic ability, time availability, and resources to adequately support learning at home.

Our goal will be to support teachers in the design of meaningful homework that will advance a spirit of learning with a focus on quality assignments to motivate students based on grade and ability.

As such, we will continue to review and modify our homework practices to follow evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of homework assignments and their impact on children’s lives and family interactions.

Modified from Resolution on Homework: Quality Over Quantity