Revisions to Vancouver Public Schools homework policy will help ensure that homework, when assigned, will support teaching and learning goals. The revisions are in response to current research, which shows that homework assignments given to children in primary grades offers few, if any, educational benefits.
Specific revisions to Regulation 6133 concerning homework aim to improve instruction and enhance achievement. Homework assignments should be a constructive tool for teaching and learning and be geared to the needs and abilities of students. In addition, homework assignments must be planned and purposeful, evaluated by the teacher and returned to students in a timely manner.
“VPS teachers are committed to educating the whole child and creating a healthy balance for children and their families,” said Debra Hale, executive director of teaching and learning. “Learning happens when children are engaged in different interests, even play. We encourage families to spend their time together in creative, fun and interactive activities.”
Guidelines for assigning homework
The frequency and duration of mandatory assignments:
- Kindergarten through third grade – Students should not be required to complete homework assignments. Encouragement should be provided to engage in family home learning activities such as reading to and with their child, outside play, puzzles and games, etc.
- Fourth and fifth grade – Homework assignments of two to four assignments a week, each lasting not more than 15 to 45 minutes, will take into account the student’s developmental age, learning goals and program of studies
- Sixth through eighth grade – Three to five assignments a week, each lasting 45 to 75 minutes
- Ninth through 12th grade – Three to five assignments a week, each lasting 75 to 120 minutes
- Students enrolled in special K-12 programs, including language immersion, Highly Capable, Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College in the High School may have additional assignments in accordance with program goals and requirements.