The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidelines for assigning students homework.
1. There are four types of commonly assigned homework, each having a different intended outcome:
1.1 Completion homework – this includes any work assigned during the school day and not completed in class. Completion homework helps students keep up-to-date with the classroom program. The classroom program should be differentiated if a student has completion homework on a regular basis.
1.2 Practice homework – this includes any work that reviews and reinforces skills and concepts taught in class. Practice homework helps students practice newly acquired skills to develop fluency. To be effective, practice homework requires students to already be able to independently perform the skills required.
1.3 Preparation homework – this includes any work that prepares students for upcoming lessons or classes. Preparation homework encourages students to acquire background information or to bring their prior knowledge and experiences to upcoming units of study.
1.4 Extension homework – this includes any work that explores and refines learning in new context or integrates and expands on classroom learning. Extension homework encourages students to problem solve, think creatively and think critically.
2. Effective Homework Assignments
2.1 Homework assignments shall be clearly articulated and carefully planned, and involve consultation among teachers, where appropriate. Also, where appropriate, homework assignments shall be differentiated to reflect the unique needs of the child.
2.2 The purpose of all types of homework is to ensure high quality student learning, and to strengthen student desire to keep learning. Effective homework assignments:
- 2.2.1 Are curriculum based and meet the developmental and individual needs of the student through differentiation and modification;
- 2.2.2 Should be commented on to provide feedback for future learning;
- 2.2.3 Are designed to require no additional teaching outside the classroom and students understand what is expected of them before leaving school;
- 2.2.4 Are engaging and relevant to student learning.
3. Timing, Scheduling and Quantity of Homework
3.1 Kindergarten – Homework should not be assigned to Kindergarten students. There is a strong connection between parental involvement and student achievement. As a result, families are encouraged to engage in early learning activities such as playing, talking and reading together in English or in the family’s first language.
3.2 Grades 1 to 5 – There is a strong connection between daily reading to or with elementary children every day and student achievement. As a result, homework assigned in the early grades shall more often take the form of reading, playing a variety of games, having discussions and interactive activities such as building and cooking with the family. In the late Primary and Intermediate grades, effective homework may begin to take the form of independent work. In both cases, homework assigned for completion, practice, preparation or extension should be clearly articulated and differentiated to reflect the unique needs of the child.
3.3 Grades 6 to 8 – Completion of homework for middle school-aged students can contribute to improved student achievement. Homework assignments for completion, practice, preparation or extension for students in middle school shall be clearly articulated and carefully planned, in partnership between teachers within the pod. Estimated completion time should be one hour or less. Feeback will be provided to students on homework completion, however, practice, prparations, and extension homework will not be marked or assessed.
3.4 Grades 9 to 12 – Homework assignments for students in Grades 9 to 12 shall be clearly articulated and carefully planned with an estimated completion time of two hours or less per day for all courses. Homework stress is particularly prevalent amongst families with children transitioning into secondary school. As a result, homework, especially for Grade 9 students, should be carefully planned in partnership among all subject teachers.
3.5 Homework should not be assigned on scheduled breaks.
4. Homework During Extended Absences
4.1 Teachers are not expected to provide detailed classroom work and homework assignments for students who are away for extended periods of time as a result of family or parent-initiated absences. For absences due to extended mental health or physical illness, parents should contact the school principal to discuss available options such as hospital homebound supports.
(Last Revised: May 2023)