Revise MMS homework guidelines according to latest and best practices!
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We are parents and concerned members of the community interested in promoting the wellness of Millburn students. We ask that Millburn Middle School revises its outdated homework guidelines according to the latest and best practices: the quality of homework should be carefully devised to support the learning process and should be no more than ten minutes per day per grade level (i.e. 60 minutes for sixth grade etc.) to avoid negative effects, namely stress.
Current MMS guidelines state "the time allocated for homework should be reasonable... (and offer) a rigorous educational experience while not providing unnecessary additional stress for our pupils. The average amount of time spent on completing homework per night should be approximately 1 and ½ hours for sixth graders and 2 hours for seventh and eighth graders."
However, according to empirical evidence provided through feedback in our community as well as the latest leading research, these guidelines do in fact lead to unnecessary additional stress and loss of sleep, negatively impacting the health and development of MMS students. The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association have provided the following guidelines (based on the current leading research by Harris Cooper, PHD): "10-20 minutes per night in the 1st grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter (e.g., 20 minutes for 2nd grade, 120 minutes for 12th). 6th graders should have no more than 60 - 70 minutes of homework, 7th graders should have no more than 70-80 minutes of homework, and 8th graders should have no more than 80-90 minutes of homework per night. When you assign more than these levels, the law of diminishing returns or even negative effects – stress especially – begin to appear."
MMS guidelines are well in excess of NEA / National PTA guidelines by approximately 30-50% at the 6th grade level, 50-70% at the seventh grade level and 35-50% at the eighth grade levels. We ask that MMS guidelines please be revised to reflect current NEA / National PTA standards. Additionally we ask that the guidelines state that homework also encompasses material review the night before a test or quiz(es) and that any other assignments be reduced or eliminated accordingly. Additionally, work on long-term projects is a form of homework and the MMS guidelines should explicitly address this fact.
Please sign this petition in support of the wellness of MMS students and ask that homework guidelines be revised in accordance with the current leading and best accepted homework methodologies and practices!
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