SVMS Homework Policy Change

SVMS Homework Policy Change

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SVMS Parents Supporting Homework Limits started this petition to Teachers of SVMS and

Dear Principal Lonhart, Assistant Principal Allen, and Teachers of SVMS,

We are a group of parents that have come together in an attempt to respectfully make the Administrators and Teachers at SVMS aware of an on-going problem that is affecting our families after school.  I say respectfully, because before I get into the issue I wanted to let you know that this letter is in no way a complaint against the school, teachers, or staff, as we love our school and all the teachers, staff and administrators, we feel very fortunate that our children are attending a school where the staff truly cares about their success.  It very well may be, that this great desire for our children's academic success, is a contributing factor in our problems that we are experiencing at home.  The problem being the amount of homework that is given on a daily basis.  It may surprise you to find out that some of our kids have been experiencing 2-5 hours of homework every night.  This is no exaggeration, and I can tell you, as I’ve talked to a lot of different parents, it all depends on which teachers they have or don’t have.  Of course, this number also depends on how on-task a child can stay for any length of time, but whether they are on-task or spacing out, it still time taken away from their families.

We give our kids to SVMS for 6 ½ hours every school day.  After that, it is our job as parents to make sure our kids are becoming well-rounded human beings.  They need the other 6 hours (roughly 3:00-9:00pm) to learn other skills, play sports, play with siblings, draw, practice an instrument, help with chores, talk with parents, go to youth groups, or just rest their brains.  All the things that make people enjoy life outside of work.  I’m sure you would agree that it is all important.  Some of our kids are sacrificing their needed sleep in order to get their homework done.  As I’m sure you are aware, getting the recommended amount of sleep is crucial for their development and for their ability to pay attention during the school day.  Due to this great amount of homework some parents have resorted to leaving our school district, they have decided to home school, enroll in a private school, or went to a nearby district.  This is not something we want to do, and some don’t have the ability to make a different option work, we love SVMS and want to work together to find an agreeable solution. 

Studies have shown that some homework is helpful, the National Education Association suggests 10 minutes per grade (7th grade would be 70 minutes, etc), while too much has negative mental, physical, and academical effects.  Too much homework can make a child dislike school, become overly anxious, stressed, and not form good relationships with their siblings and parents.  I’m sure this is not what any of us, as parents or teachers, want for our children.  We all want the kids that are entrusted to us to enjoy learning and not be overwhelmed by it and burnt out at the age of 12 and 13. Studies show that homework should have quality, not quantity.

What we are asking for is this: That the school administrator actively enforce a limited homework policy.  In keeping with the National Education Association, that would be no more than 10-20 minutes per subject on a normal day.  Of course, there will always be special times such as, when a project is due, that this time would be much more, but it shouldn’t be daily. 

Please hear our hearts in the petition and consider taking a strong stance with us for the well-being of our families.  Thank you!

Sources: http://www.nea.org/tools/16938.htm  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/children-more-homework-means-more-stress-031114

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