Please Return Gradable Work Promptly!
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UPDATE: Major success! This petition initially also asked that homework be assigned before the end of the class period and as of May 22, 2017, the Board of Education adopted Homework Policy 2230.8 "When homework is assigned, it shall be assigned during the class subject period and posted no later than one
hour after the school day."
In the January 2017 BOE Open Forum, Assistant Superintendent Kyle Arlington stated that he expected to make progress on the timely return of graded work issue by June 2017. Unfortunately the district has not shared any such progress with the public to date.
History: The Student Strategic Planning Committee (SSPC) was initiated by the Millburn Township District and Board of Education in October of 2013. The SSPC's primary mandate was the exploration and mitigation of student stress.
The first major accomplishment of the SSPC was to conduct a student survey regarding student stress at MHS in March 2015. Based on the survey results, the SSPC identified two other stress-inducers which could be addressed on a non-controversial basis. The first is mandating all teachers to timely return all gradable assignments (quizzes, tests and exams, paper, project) a certain amount of time before the next gradable assignment; specifically "all gradable work must be returned at least two days before the next test or gradable assignment is due or four days before the next mid-term, final or AP exam, respectively." The second is adoption of a policy that "all assignments due the following day must be assigned before class is dismissed." (e.g. a teacher would refrain from posting assignments on Thursday night due Friday, or from posting assignments on Friday night due on Monday etc.) The SSPC has developed recommendations that the District adopt these guidelines as policy at MHS and MMS.
We respectfully ask the BOE and District to demonstrate their commitment to stress-reduction and urge the immediate adoption of these measures. We also ask the District to implement an anonymous method of communication by which students and/or parents may bring any violations to the attention of the administration. We are confident that these measures will effect significant stress reduction for the students in the District.
Addendum (11/28/16): Per public comments at the 11/22/16 BOE meeting, we understand that at this time the SSPC requires specific approval from the District / BOE / MHS Principal to hold any meetings. In order to support the efficiency and the efficacy of the SSPC, we respectfully ask the District to empower the SSPC with blanket authority to meet on a regular basis in order to set meetings and establish its specific agenda with a mandate of student stress reduction)
Addendum (9/9/17): It appears that the SSPC was never given permission by the District to hold any further meetings last year and that it is now a defunct committee. For this reason, we also ask signers of this petition to consider signing another petition which specifically asks for the creation of a Citizens Advisory Committe that does not require district approval to hold meetings as well as other public dialogue / transparency measures (please see https://www.change.org/p/superintendent-christine-burton-more-public-dialogue-transparency-in-millburn-school-district )
REFERENCES: Please see video recording of 11/22/16 BOE Meeting http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T00331&video=295888
Please also see detailed recap of 11/22/16 BOE Meeting at https://millburnstudentwellness.wordpress.com/
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