Homework Over the Holidays

Mallika Singh

With Mid-Year Recess right around the corner, MVHS students are ready for a break. However, not all students will get a complete break from school. Their teachers may instead choose to disregard the No Homework Over Break Policy and assign homework.

According to English teacher Mark Carpenter, the policy, which was instituted around two years ago, made it against the rules for teachers to assign homework over any break. Carpenter respects the policy and doesn’t assign homework to his students during the break.

“I try to make it so that students can get work done over break,” Carpenter said. “I never make anything due immediately after a break, but I do make sure students are aware of what’s coming so if they choose to use the break to do work they can, but nobody’s required to.”

Junior Shreya Sthothra Bashyam has had experience with teachers assigning homework over breaks, and prefers that they did not do so to ensure that she, and all other students, can enjoy break and focus on other things coming up.

“I think it’s a good policy because it actually gives people a chance to relax and not have to study over break,” Sthothra Bashyam said.

Many students feel the same way as Sthothra Bashyam which is why the policy was created. However, while the policy stands, since it is not measurable, there is no standard for what counts as homework.

AP Chemistry teacher Kavita Gupta agrees with Carpenter in that she assigns her students homework so they can start it over a long weekend, if they prefer. However, Gupta also explained that there is a bit of uncertainty in what really counts as homework over a break and how teachers can find their way around that.

“I think there is a lot of grey area in this policy because is it absolutely no homework? Or no homework due on Monday?” Gupta said. “Can you assign a long term project which takes more than one day and make it due [on] Tuesday?”

Although Gupta knows there is a grey area, she doesn’t assign homework over breaks, especially the long ones, because she knows that everyone needs the time to just relax. Similarly, Carpenter will not make anything due the next Monday after breaks so it is not a burden on the students.

The no homework policy, according to Gupta and Carpenter, serves more as a buffer rather than a set-in-stone rule so students are not worn down with homework during their time to relax and spend with family and friends.

“I really think … it’s a great first step, but we really need to look thoughtfully at the homework we assign our students” Gupta said. “[We should focus on] the meaning of the homework rather than giving repetitive and redundant homework.”