Campus question: Why didn’t teachers assign homework over break?


Malini Ramaiyer

On Nov. 23, principal April Scott sent an email to teachers and parents explaining that the upcoming Thanksgiving break would be homework-free.

“This Thanksgiving break is the first extended break of the school year,” Scott said in an email. “And no homework will be assigned.”

Students have less if not no homework for the vacation, so they can spend time with their families. Students may choose to get started on a project or begin studying ahead of time; however, as assistant principal Ben Clausnitzer described, no work is limited to the time frame of Thanksgiving break. He explained that the school staff collectively made this decision during a monthly meeting in March last school year, after asking themselves how they could reduce student stress.

“What’s in our control? What can we do as educators?” Clausnitzer said. “When we had the conversation last March, we collectively agreed that yes [reducing homework over break] is something we thought was valuable.”

One of the many school goals determined after the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) report two years ago was to “stabilize student stress”. Challenge Success has been working toward this with OLE day, the new final schedule and conflict calendarsbut the staff separately made this change. With Scott’s email, the school has received positive feedback from the PTSA and families, grateful for the extra family time during break.

“It’ll be interesting. We’re not just talking about Thanksgiving break, we’re talking about February break and April break,’” Clausnitzer said. “It’ll be neat to watch, to give time back to students and families.”

Featured image by Flickr user Kate Inglis, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).