School Practices & Policies » Homework Guidelines

Homework Guidelines

Albany Middle School strives to provide a rigorous education, where all students can access the curriculum and learn positive life habits. Homework is one component of the learning process. At AMS we strive to maintain a rigorous curriculum while also valuing other important aspects of students’ lives outside of school, such as family time and extracurricular activities. We also recognize that it is important for students to balance their lives in a way that includes incorporating healthy habits, such as exercise and enough sleep.

Purpose of Homework
The purpose of homework is to enhance the learning that happens in the classroom, and to provide feedback to the student and teacher about how the student is progressing. Therefore, teachers assign relevant homework tasks that are essential to student learning and can generally be accomplished independently at home. These may be for pre-learning, checking for understanding, practice, and/or processing. One size does not fit all, so in order to provide the opportunity for students to succeed, homework could be differentiated by teacher discretion.

Responsibility of the Teacher
● Design relevant homework tasks that will help students to further their learning.
● Post the homework in a consistent manner daily.
● Provide feedback in a timely fashion using Aeries.
● Use the results of homework to plan future instruction when relevant.
● Avoid assigning new homework over holidays and vacations.
● Minimize assigning new homework on weekends whenever possible.

Responsibility of the Student
● Use an organization system, such as the student planner, to record your homework nightly and to check off assignments as they are completed.
● When doing homework, reference your textbook, notes, and other materials to complete assignments accurately.
● Keep your papers organized and have a designated place to put completed homework.
● Clarify with the teacher any instructions that are not understood before leaving class.
● Every student is different, but generally, you can expect to spend up to 60 minutes (6th grade), 70 minutes (7th grade), & 80 minutes (8th grade) of focused effort (without electronics and other distractions) on your homework nightly.
● Pick a location with the help of your family where you can do homework free of distractions (including electronics).
● The next day, take the initiative to ask your teacher for help if you need it.

Responsibility of the Parent/Guardian
● Children need monitoring until they prove that they can manage their homework independently. Help your child understand what he/she needs to do to earn independence. Check Aeries with your child weekly at first, less often when your child proves to be on top of his/her work.
● Help your child to pick a well-lit, distraction-free environment for doing homework.
● Help your child by being sure that s/he is taking out his/her planner, checking off completed work, placing completed homework in a designated spot, and then putting it into his/her backpack.
● Watch for signs of failure or frustration. Troubleshoot with your child, encourage your child to talk to his/her teacher, and if needed, contact the teacher directly to problem solve.
● If your child is regularly spending more than the suggested time on homework, reach out to the teacher of the class that is taking the most time to problem-solve a solution. If it is not a particular subject, reach out to your child’s counselor.
● Consider having your child check in electronic devices while doing homework and at bedtime. Make sure your child gets an adequate amount of sleep.