Homework Expectations Committee sets standards of homework for the 2015-2016 school year


Kate Deng, Design Editor

On June 30, assistant principal Shawn J. Frank, along with the rest of the Homework Expectations Committee, announced the approved guidelines that will be effective starting in the fall of 2015.

The Homework Expectations Committee consists of four representatives from each class, along with several staff members, a couple of parent representatives, director of student services Brandon Kosatka, and assistant principal Frank. The team has been working throughout the year to ensure the guidelines for next school year are both fair and challenging.

“I thought it was a great experience to be part of something necessary and meaningful for our TJ community,” rising junior and 2014-2015 sophomore class representative Kristin Myers said. “It was a wonderful experience getting to know some of the parents and faculty on the community and it was great to see first hand that they recognized the homework stress issue and were willing to help us.”

After the committee presented their proposals, the proposals were either accepted, rejected, or revised. The top choices were then brought to the Leadership-Team, which is a group of administration who discuss and vote on school-wide decisions and policies, and approved policies were sent back to the Homework Expectations Committee.

“Before I even read the email, I had heard about guidelines of ‘no homework over breaks’ being implemented last year,” rising sophomore Cassie Quach said. “Unfortunately, even as a freshman I was receiving many assignments and found it to be unfair.”

Even though several of the guidelines outlined in the announcement had been discussed before, the 2014-2015 school year was the first in which the Homework Expectations Committee was formed and an official guideline was implemented. In doing so, the Homework Expectations Committee hopes to promote a school-wide change.

As of next year, the Homework Expectations Committee is proposing that breaks (including Thanksgiving, winter, and spring) should be free of homework assignments, that there should be no test, quiz, or homework (unless sufficient time is given prior to the breaks) due the day students return from break, teachers should communicate the amount of time necessary to complete each homework assignments, administration will work with the teachers to address any concerns, students and parents will use Advocacy Guidelines for TJHSST Students to address academic and homework concerns, and students will select courses that are meaningful and manageable with the help of their counselors.

“I think that the proposition sounds great in writing, but we’ll have to wait until the year starts to see if it’s implemented or not,” rising senior Jennifer Lee said. “Some teachers tend to blatantly ignore homework guidelines.”

Next year, the homework guidelines will be largely implemented by administration through their collaboration with teachers to ensure adhering to the guidelines. Even so, the main implementer of the policies will be the students themselves.

“Students must not only be appropriately utilizing Student Advocacy Guidelines by having conversations with their own teachers when there are unfair or overwhelming practices in the classroom, but they must also, in the event that the Student Advocacy Guidelines are not an effective tool, go to administrators and discuss issues in the classroom,” graduated senior and 2014-2015 senior class representative Anant Das said.