SMUHSD Homework/Makeup Work Policies
Purpose of Homework
The Board of Trustees recognizes that homework contributes toward building responsibility, self-discipline, lifelong learning habits, and that time spent on homework directly influences students' ability to meet the District's academic standards. The rationale supporting the District's homework policy and regulation is based on the following:
- Equity and access
- Student health and wellness
- School/life balance
- Quality of instructional practices over quantity of assignments
Definition of Homework
The definition of homework encompasses any task assigned by a student's teachers solely intended to be completed during non-school hours and does not include work pursued during tutorial periods, flex time, office hours, etc. For assignments in which students work on during school and non-school time, only the non-school work is considered homework. Homework does not include extracurricular activities.
Homework is a tool to enhance student achievement and gain mastery over subject matter. Homework is part of an overall instructional strategy employed to accomplish the ultimate summative performance goals of the particular course. Typically, homework provides students with an opportunity to practice, reinforce, and apply previously taught skills and prepare for new material that is immediately reviewed in class. Homework intended to prepare students for future lessons shall be clearly defined for that purpose and have a limited objective and reasonable timeframe.
The following are requirements or guiding principles for homework:
- Homework assignments shall emphasize quality over quantity.
- Homework must have a clear academic purpose, such as checking for understanding or applying knowledge and skills.
- Homework is a relevant extension of classroom instruction and learning.
- Homework assignments shall be based on individual student needs including, but not limited to, specific IEPs and 504 plans.
- Homework assignments of different types are recommended.
Homework shall be structured around content with which:
- The student has some familiarity and context,
- The student has been exposed to in prior coursework, or
- The student is not familiar with but is reasonably prepared to comprehend (such as an introduction to new content in preparation for future lessons).
Homework Free Breaks
Effective homework practices do not place an undue burden on students in regards to the amount and difficulty of homework. The Board of Trustees recognizes the value of extracurricular activities, family time, hobbies, unstructured time, adequate sleep, and their importance in a student's life. The Board of Trustees realizes that too much homework negatively impacts these valuable activities and competes with other responsibilities that students may have. As part of a balanced approach to homework, specific homework free breaks, as detailed in the accompanying administrative regulation, are required. The intent of homework free breaks is to provide students time to develop personal interests, engage in other pursuits beyond their academic load, and take part in family activities.
- Students who miss schoolwork because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students shall receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. (Education Code 48205)
- Students who miss schoolwork because of unexcused absences may be given the opportunity to make up missed work for full or reduced credit. Teachers shall assign such makeup work as necessary to ensure academic progress, not as a punitive measure.
- No student may have his/her grade reduced or lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. Such notification shall include the full text of Education Code 48205. (Education Code 48980)
The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. (Education Code 48913)