The teachers and administration of The Essex Fells School believe that homework is one bridge that connects parents, children, and their teachers.  The overarching goal of homework is to enhance school-based education experiences and promote student growth. Homework is assigned in accordance with the needs and abilities of individual students and in support of specific curricular areas. Homework reinforces and strengthens the home/school connection while reinforcing the skills and concepts learned at school. Through homework, parents learn about the curriculum and can talk to their children in a meaningful way about what they are learning. Homework also teaches children responsibility and good work habits. Homework is designed to be an age-appropriate, successful experience.


    Our school strongly promotes the love of books and reading at home. Parental support is key to the success of our reading program. To continue to build a community of learners, it is critical that children spend time reading. Independent reading provides children an opportunity to apply reading strategies independently and sustain reading behavior. It challenges our children to solve words on their own while reading age appropriate texts. Independent reading promotes fluency and builds confidence. It also strengthens children’s vocabulary and writing skills.


    Essex Fells teachers assign homework on a regular basis and expect all students to complete assigned work in a timely manner.  Parent excusals will not be accepted for missing assignments unless under extenuating circumstances.


    Below, please find general guidelines and time minimums that teachers and parents should follow when assigning homework and reading with their child.


                GRADE LEVEL                    HOMEWORK           READING

    Pre-Kindergarten                    10 Minutes  (Pre-reading activities)

    Kindergarten                           10 Minutes                   10 Minutes      

    Grade One                              15 Minutes                    15 Minutes

    Grade Two                              20 Minutes                   20 Minutes

    Grade Three                            30-40 Minutes              20 Minutes

    Grade Four                              45 Minutes                   30 Minutes

    Grade Five                               60 Minutes                   30 Minutes

    Grade Six                                 60-75 Minutes             30 Minutes

    *    For reading, each teacher will provide an appropriate form of accountability to aid the child in his/her reading experiences.


    Homework Roles and Responsibilities


          Administrators will:

    ·     Implement the provisions of the homework policy guidelines as appropriate to the school and ensure that the school’s policy is published and distributed to all students and parents.

    ·     Plan for the periodic evaluation of homework polices and guidelines.


                      Teachers will:

    ·     Identify the degree to which homework affects the determination of a student’s grade.

    ·     Provide clear, concise directions for homework assignments.

    ·     Check homework for completeness and mastery of concepts as appropriate to the nature of the assignment.

    ·     Assess, review, and return homework in a timely manner.

    ·     Periodically discuss with students and their parents/guardians the student’s academic progress, including performance on homework assignments.

    ·     Clearly post homework assignments in each room.

    ·     Notify a parent/guardian if a student fails to complete four homework assignments over the span of a marking period.


    Parents/Guardians will:

    ·     Set a regular time for homework, one that works for your child and family.

    ·     Act as a facilitator of homework.

    ·     Select a fairly quiet study area with lots of light and adequate academic supplies.

    ·     Remove household distractions (e.g., television, phone calls, etc.)

    ·     Review and discuss teacher comments on the homework with your child.

    ·     Communicate with the teacher when your child consistently experiences difficulty with homework assignments.

    ·     Encourage children in doubt about an assignment to seek help from and to ask questions of their teacher.

    ·     Encourage and support children’s efforts, being available to answer questions, but insisting that children assume personal responsibility for their homework assignments.


          Students will:

    ·     Take increasing responsibility for regularly completing and returning homework assignments.

    ·     Accurately record all homework assignments in an assignment pad.

    ·     Clearly label work with their name, date, and teacher when age- appropriate.

    ·     Neatly complete assignments.

    ·     Before leaving class, clarify any doubts about an assignment, when it is due, and how it should be completed.

    ·     Take home the appropriate materials needed to fully complete the homework assignment.

    ·     Learn to budget time, especially toward the completion of long-term assignments.

    ·     Return all work to the teacher by the date requested.

                      ·     Make up work missed during an illness or excused absence in a timely manner.


    Homework Procedures During Absence

    Students are encouraged to form a buddy system and call his/her buddy to obtain assignments when absent. 


    Parents are encouraged to contact our office by 8:30 am to request homework from a child’s teacher when the absence is called in. Please provide ample time so that the teacher can be contacted and the assignments and appropriate materials collected and readied for pickup at 3:05 pm in the main office. 


    Children who miss school due to illness or excused absence will be given enough time when they return to class to make up their home and class work.  They will have the same number of days to make up their work as they had missed.


    Vacations during school time are discouraged.  If your child misses school due to a vacation, class/homework must be requested from the teachers at lease a week in advance.  All missed work must be returned upon the student's arrival back to school.