High School Homework Policies and Procedures

Important Senior High School Telephone Numbers

MAIN OFFICE: (518) 347-3600, ext. 61101
GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT: (518) 347-3600, ext. 63100 

Homework statement

The High School teaching administration and staff considers the practice of homework as one of the vital means by which students can better learn the required material in each curriculum area. The prime responsibility of homework belongs to the students themselves. The teachers, parents, and administrators also play an integral role in a successful homework experience. The need for active communication is essential throughout the homework process.

Purpose of homework

At the high school level, the purposes of homework include:
  • Practice/Review – to reinforce and/or master basic skills already presented in class
  • Preparation – to introduce material to be presented in future lessons
  • Extension – to provide students with opportunities to transfer specific skills or concepts to new situations
  • Application – to enable students to connect skills and concepts to new situations

Types of homework

Types of homework include, but are not limited to:

  • Nightly assignments for practice or review of class work
  • Review for tests or exams
  • Research activities
  • Reading and/or writing assignments
  • Projects – individual and group activities

Time Guidelines

  • Students are expected to complete homework by the assigned due date.
  • If a student is absent from school due to illness or another legal reason, the student is expected to complete the assignment according to teacher guidelines.
  • Homework assigned over weekends or extended vacations should not represent more work than a non-weekend or vacation period.
  • Assignments requiring computer time will be extended to a minimum of three days so that all students are able to access a computer.

Areas of Responsibility

The responsibilities expected of the teacher, student, parent, and administrators are outlined below. Although this is a rather comprehensive list, it is not intended to be all-inclusive.

Teacher Responsibilities

At the High School level, the teacher has autonomy to assign homework to their students based on what they believe will best assist the students in their educational program. The wide range of courses offered, the various levels of courses, and the diversified curricula are the reasons for this autonomy.
There are, however, certain procedures that all teachers, regardless of curriculum area, are expected to adhere to concerning homework. These include the following items:

  • Each teacher will distribute to every student a written homework guideline at the beginning of each course. This guideline is to be reviewed by the student and parent, signed and returned to the teacher. The teacher’s guideline includes, but is not limited to, the following information:

• A description of the various types of homework assignments a student might expect during the course.
• The teacher will give the date each assignment is due.
• The methods in which assignments will be given to the students.
• The average amount of time a student might need to complete the different types of assignments.
• The procedure for turning in assignments late, including any penalty.
• The grading weight and expected length of various written assignments.
• The expected format of the assignment, e.g., medium to use, material, bibliography required, research style, etc.
• A copy of this guideline will be kept in the main office.

  • The homework guidelines will be shared with parents at Meet the Teachers night.
  • Teachers are to turn in homework guidelines to their department supervisors at the beginning of each course for review and feedback.
  • Long Range Assignments need to be communicated to faculty. The following procedures are established:
    • A master board will be kept in a central location to highlight long-range assignments.
    • Teachers will post due dates on the master board during the last week of the quarter, before the assignment is given. Assignments to be given at the start of the 1st quarter, or start of the year, need to be posted by the opening day.

Student Responsibilities

At the High School level, students are expected to understand the importance of homework, and are responsible to comply with each teacher’s guideline.
The student will –

  • Read/review each teacher’s guideline on homework.
  • Sign the homework guideline and return it to the teacher as instructed.
  • Contact Homework Hotline as soon as an absence of two or more days is anticipated.
  • Take responsibility for getting all assignments, whether they are in class or not.
  • Make every effort to complete each homework assignment to the best of his/her ability.
  • Seek help from the teacher if he/she does not understand an assignment or has difficulty completing homework.
  • Stay after school upon request and/or when necessary to work on assignments with the teacher.
  • Present a written explanation to the teacher when circumstances beyond his/her control prevent timely return of an assignment; this explanation will be signed by the parent/guardian.
  • Complete assigned work. Homework is the responsibility of the student, not the parent, sibling, or other party. Homework is “practice” and the benefits of doing it well will be reaped at assessment times.
  • Make up missed assignments as indicated on each teacher’s guideline.
  • Record homework as it is assigned.
  • Read and follow the policy against plagiarism as stated in the Code of Conduct.

Parent Responsibilities

Parents play a valuable role in the homework process. Their communication, guidance, and support of their son/daughter in the homework process are essential if the value of good homework practice is to be realized.
The parent should –

  • Review with their son/daughter each teacher’s homework guideline at the beginning of each course, sign it, and have their son/daughter return it as requested.
  • Encourage good homework practice. Assist them in organizing their commitments, and try to establish a definitive time and place to do homework.
  • Assist with homework when necessary, not initially. Let the son/daughter know that assistance is available if requested, after they have attempted to do it on their own.
  • Help provide a quiet area that would be conducive to doing homework assignments.
  • Communicate to teachers when the parent feels the homework might be too difficult or too much or cannot be completed due to extenuating circumstances. Be willing to discuss this openly with the teacher and the son/daughter.
  • Encourage the students to seek help, or contact the teacher directly when the student is having difficulty.

Administrative Responsibilities (Principal, Assistant, Supervisors)

For homework to be considered an important means to success in all curricula, administrators need to be involved in the process. They are the educational leaders. Their leadership, support, and encouragement will assist all parties in the pursuit of good homework practices.
The administrators will –

  • Review and monitor all teachers’ homework guidelines, and make appropriate recommendations to teachers before the guidelines are communicated to the students.
  • Place homework on the agenda at least once a year at their department meetings. This is for the purpose of exchanging ideas and giving each other feedback and information.
  • Assist in the dissemination of the High School Homework Procedure and Practices.
  • Review homework procedures and practices periodically at faculty and supervisor meetings.