WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple recently asked all six Wilmington School Committee candidates about the feelings on the district’s homework policy.
This week’s response schedule is as follows: Sabrina Hewitt (Monday), Jennifer Bryson (Tuesday), Steve Bjork (Wednesday), Kathleen O’Donoghue (Thursday), Rhonda Musikar-Rosner (Friday), Amy Largenton (Saturday), and a recap (Sunday). [Editor’s Note: These responses may run out-of-order due to an email mixup that was my fault.]
Below is the response from candidate Amy Largenton.
QUESTION: The School Committee “establishes and periodically reviews policies for the schools in the district.” Policy making is one of the most important roles of the committee, but it’s often overlooked. Let’s use a prime example… Review the district’s current policy on Homework (IKB & IKB-E). Would you change anything?
ANSWER: Homework is a very hot topic at this moment. At the Woburn Street School, a homework committee has been established with a select group of teachers and parents to establish consistency in regards to homework. Parents and teachers were asked to fill out a survey and the group is currently analyzing the data.
I would not change the policy as it is currently written, however, we need to establish consistency as a district. The first thing we must do is have a standard curriculum as a district. For example, Shawsheen second graders and Woburn Street second graders should be learning the same programs at the same time. This should not be up to the principals as some people think.
We also must make sure that principals, teachers and staff are aware of how to implement this policy. We must remember that homework time is different for each child. For example, child a will spend 30min on math and child B may take an hour. A parent should not be judged when speaking with a teacher regarding homework issues. I have been very fortunate that my son’s teachers have worked with me but I have talked with other parents who have expressed concerns to their child’s teacher about how long their homework was taking only to be dismissed.
We should not be using homework as a punishment. Children have to give up recess to finish work which is against the policy but no action is taken. I would like to see homework as a review of anything that has already been taught and nightly reading.
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