Inside Education: Homework and graduation requirements

As part of the Board of Education’s continued commitment to the RPS Mission and Vision of the Graduate, the policy subcommittee is currently working on updating policies concerning homework, grading and graduation requirements.  

Studies over the past decade have consistently demonstrated that in order for students to achieve at high academic levels, schools, families and communities must focus on the child’s social, emotional, physical and behavioral health as well as the acquisition of academic skills, strategies and content.  

The district and board are shifting the homework conversation to focus on quality of assignments rather than quantity, and on engagement of students. The board discussed the new homework policy draft (Policy 6154) at the Sept. 25 BOE meeting. Over the upcoming school year, the administration will develop regulations concerning homework in support of the philosophy, and in the context of our Ridgefield community.

To help guide the development, students will take a survey in early winter. The approach of Challenge Success and the Stanford Survey of Adolescent School Experiences is to provide schools and families with the information and strategies to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for their kids. Specifically, the survey will be given to middle and high school students to measure their perspectives on homework, extracurricular activities, sleep, physical health, stress, parent expectations, academic engagement, academic integrity, and teacher support.

The insights reported through the survey will also be a reference in the development of policy and regulation work around grading practices (Policy 146.1), Reporting to Parent/Guardian (Policy 6222), and RHS Graduation Requirements (Policy 6146 in light of Public Act 17-42).

More information about the policies and Challenge Success may be found on the RPS website, Board of Education section, under BOE Policy Committee. Feel free to provide feedback regarding these policies by emailing the full Board of Education.

This column was submitted to The Press by the nine members of the Ridgefield Board of Education.