Homework Philosophy:

During the middle school years organization, work ethic, responsibility, and attitude begin to play as equally an important role in academic success as ability. Middle school parents, teachers, and students need to work together to help students develop the skills to plan for, organize, and complete school work independently. This not only provides the basis for academic success, it provides the foundation for skills which will benefit students for a lifetime.

At Yellow Breeches Middle School, we believe that all students can develop the skills to plan for, organize, and complete school tasks independently. For some, it takes more effort than others. Middle school, not high school, is the time to make that effort. To this end, our expectations, standards, programs, and policies are geared to help students acquire these skills.

Expectations and Standards:

Homework is an essential part of the total education of the student. Middle level students should expect 60 to 80 minutes of homework per night. Homework provides the opportunity for the student to:

  1. practice, apply, integrate or extend school learning.

  2. reinforce independent work-study skills.

  3. develop self-discipline.

Homework assignments will be meaningful and based on student needs. When assigned, homework will be integrated into class discussions and relevant to current learning of the student. As a result of the importance of homework, teachers will:

  1. publish general expectations for homework in their classroom syllabus and provide students with specific expectations on long-term/major assignments.

  2. assist students in understanding the importance of using an assignment book.

  3. assist students in understanding and planning for long-term and short-term assignments.

  4. assist students in establishing priorities and setting goals.

"So Really, What Difference Does This Make?":

For students, this all often boils down to one question: "What difference does this make?" (Sometimes it is asked in a little more colorful language, but the basic question is the same.) Since the development of the middle level program nearly a decade ago, the answer to this question has been consistent:

Regardless of academic ability, middle school students who improve organizational skills, assume responsibility, and complete homework feel better about themselves, have better grades, have less stress, have more opportunities, and do not find themselves grounded nearly as much as students who do not. Equally as important, they do better in high school.

Excused Absences and Homework:

It is the student's responsibility to contact the teacher to obtain the make-up assignments that were missed during any excused absence. In the event of an excused absence, students will have one school day for each excused absence day to make up any short-term assignments. Any long-term assignments, projects, or research papers are due immediately upon the student's return.

After the first day of an absence, teachers will honor reasonable requests by parents to have homework sent home. In order to have time to collect a student's homework, requests must be before 10:00 AM. Parents may call 258-6484 and follow the instructions for reporting a child absent. You may leave your request for homework at the same time you report the absence.

Unexcused Absences and Late Homework:

Homework assignments, if accepted after the due date, are subject a reduction in grade. Teacher discretion is to be used to determine what credit, if any, is given for late assignments. Teachers will publish their homework standards within their syllabus. However, late assignments, if accepted, generally result in up to 50% of their point value. In other words, a ten-point assignment handed in a day late, will receive a maximum grade of five out of the ten possible points.

Students who consistently fail to complete homework will be assigned after-school detention. Again, though teacher discretion can be applied, generally after three missed homework assignments, a student may be assigned detention.

There is a direct correlation between failure to complete homework, failing marking period grades, and summer school. No matter how challenging course work may be for a student, it is extremely rare to find a student in summer school who paid attention in class and did all their homework. A low grade on an occasional late homework assignment or an after school detention may seem harsh. However, it is not nearly as harsh as spending six weeks of summer in school.