I hope that you have had a great start to the school year and that you are enjoying the many learning opportunities that ACPS and your school offers. We could not make these opportunities available and successful without you!
You likely are aware that during last school year, we had a committee working on revising our homework policy (Policy IKB) based on concerns raised by the ACPS School Health Advisory Board about student stress and sleep needs. During the course of the committee’s work, we conducted surveys; looked into research; consulted with parent, student, teacher, and administrator groups; and looked at recommended policy from the Virginia School Boards Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the National Education Association.
As a result, we arrived at a reasonable policy approved by the School Board at its May 26 meeting. The policy does the following:
- Clarifies the purpose of homework
- Focuses on both quality and expected time spent
- Considers equity and access
- Includes a chart of time guidelines, following the 10-minute rule for elementary students and improved approximation of time spent for secondary students
- Prohibits homework over scheduled holidays
I believe that ACPS has the best teachers in the Commonwealth and that the practices they use are planned with the best intentions of inspiring and producing learning. I also believe that student and parent feedback to teachers about the student learning experience is essential to improve all of our work. It is vital for parents and students to let a teacher know when things are going well and when they are not, and the conversation should always start with the teacher.
If you have not done so, I encourage all of you to take a few minutes to review the policy. All principals have shared and discussed it with teachers at their schools. Take time to talk about it; the conversations we have as a community lead us to quality learning for all.
I wish you the best as we make our way into the fall.