LOWELL | The Tri-Creek School Board has approved a homework policy for the district.
"We want our kids to do homework," said Lynne Haberlin, Tri-Creek director of innovations in learning, curriculum and instruction.
However, that homework should be meaningful, purposeful and essential, she said.
Haberlin led the district's grading task force, which compiled and recommended the policy.
"We want to balance with the needs of the family," Haberlin said.
For instance, homework over the holidays should be limited, she said.
Teachers are not to "overload with projects," Haberlin said. "We want the bulk of that in the classroom."
The policy stresses reading from kindergarten through senior year.
While there is no hard and fast rule, the policy suggests 30 to 60 minutes of homework per day for the average elementary student, two hours or less for the average middle schooler and three hours or less for high school students.
Referring to older students, School Board Vice President Michelle Dumbsky said, "Parents have all had one day in a week when their student is slammed with homework and up until 3 a.m."
Haberlin said teacher teams will work together to avoid such problems.
The homework policy also includes changes to the makeup work and late assignment guidelines.
In the past, students generally had one day for each day absent to make up their schoolwork.
Haberlin said zeroes are to be avoided.
"We want the work turned in," she said.
To that end, what she called data teams will customize the timeline for makeup work.
"It's more situational," she said.
Board member David Stanton asked if students at all levels could find their homework online. He suggested some students, while home ill, could begin the work.
Haberlin said that is not yet possible at all levels.