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Homework Guidelines

The new version of the TDSB Homework Policy builds on the existing policy and reinforces homework as an engaging and relevant learning activity.  The policy is founded on sound teaching and learning practice, current research, the TDSB Student Census data and the results of extensive consultation with parents, educators and community.  The policy reinforces the Board’s commitment to the assignment of homework in a purposefully planned manner that is directly connected to a student’s school program and learning expectations of the Ontario Curriculum. It balances time required to complete homework with extra-curricular activities scheduled outside of the school day and activities that support personal and family wellness.

What is Homework?

Homework is an out-of-classroom learning experience assigned by a teacher to enhance student learning. Homework will be reviewed by teachers so that they know where students are now and how to better direct them towards their learning goals.

Types of Homework

Four types of homework defined, with identification of specific intended outcomes and application for effective learning.

TypeDefinitionIntended Outcome
CompletionAny work assigned during the school day not completed in classHelps students keep up to date with the classroom program
PracticeAny work that reviews and reinforces skills and concepts taught in classHelps students practice newly acquired skills to develop fluency
PreparationAny work that prepares students for upcoming lessons or classesEncourages students to acquire background information or to bring their prior knowledge and experiences to upcoming units of study
ExtensionAny work that explores and refines learning in new contexts or integrates and expands on classroom learningEncourages students to problem solve, think creatively and think critically

Incomplete Homework and Reporting

Where appropriate, there will be progressive consequences for incomplete homework. Punitive measures are not appropriate as they provide powerful disincentives.

Homework is reported on only the Learning Skills & Work Habits section of the Elementary Progress Report (November) and the Elementary Provincial Report Card (February and June) as a part of Responsibility subsection. Students are evaluated using the sliding scale:   EExcellent,GGood, SSatisfactory, NNeeds Improvement.

Homework through the Grade Levels

Homework should not be assigned to Kindergarten students. There is a strong connection between parental involvement and student achievement. As a result, families are encouraged to engage in early learning activities such as playing, talking and reading together in English or in the family’s first language. Teachers may provide resources to support home-based early learning activities.

Homework assigned in the early grades will more often take the form of reading, playing a variety of games, having discussions and interactive activities.

In the late Primary and Junior grades, effective homework will begin to take the form of independent work.

Homework for older students should be no longer than 1 hour for grades 7 and 8 students and no more than 2 hours for grades 9 to 12 students.

Timing

No homework assigned on school holidays or days of significance.

Wherever possible, homework will be assigned by teachers in blocks of time so that families can best support homework completion by balancing the time required to complete homework with extra-curricular activities scheduled outside of the school day and activities that support personal and family wellness.

Teachers shall not be expected to provide detailed classroom work and homework assignments for students who are away for extended periods of time as a result of family- or parent-initiated absences. For absences due to extended illness, parents may contact the school principal to discuss available options.

Roles and Responsibilities

A positive and open school-home partnership will have a positive impact on student success in the homework process.

Teacher ResponsibilitiesStudent ResponsibilitiesFamily Responsibilities
Design homework assignments that clearly articulate their purpose and expected outcome;Ensure that he/she clearly understands the homework assigned, i.e. assignments, criteria, and timelines, and asks for clarification or assistance from the teacher when homework assignments or the expectations are not clear;Provide an environment, i.e. workplace, block of uninterrupted time, usually in the home for homework to be done;
Share expectations for homework with students and parents;Record assignments in his/her agenda or student planner;Provide encouragement and appropriate support without doing the homework for their child;
Ensure any homework assigned is directly related to classroom instruction and consists of clear, purposeful and engaging and activities;Regularly complete assigned homework in a timely manner to the best of his/her ability; Provide a healthy balance between homework, co-curricular activities and family commitments;
Teach the skills necessary for the student to complete the homework and become successful independent learners.Manage time and materials, e.g. by bringing home necessary materials.Stop their child from continuing to complete homework at bedtime, even if the child is not done;
Contact the classroom teacher if their child is not consistently able to do the homework by him/herself or if challenges arise.

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