North Rockland School District taking new approach to homework

A new school year means a pretty big new change for students in the North Rockland School District. Students returning this year will no longer be assigned homework, instead they will have “home learning” assignments.

“Everyone thought that homework was going away forever. I hear all this talk all over ‘There’s no more homework at North Rockland anymore!’ and that’s not the case,” said Allison Spong, a junior.

The school district is eliminating all home learning assignments on weekends and school breaks, and putting daily time limits on how long the assignments should take.

For grades K-3, the total daily home learning assignments should not take longer than 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes for grades 4-6. Assignments cannot be factored into students’ grades. 

For grades 7 through 12, there will be no time limits, but students should be given a reasonable amount of work each day. 

“We feel that homework should be meaningful, all assignments should be meaningful, kids should be given feedback,” said Scott Rogers, a math teacher.

“I think the big thing was minimizing the amount of it, not taking it away, because it is important,” said Spong. “But minimizing it so students have a more calm mind and a clear head for the school day.”

But there are some concerns with the new policy. Rogers argues that math is skill-based, and that students need to practice to improve. 

“I am afraid that when I teach something on a Friday, if the kids don’t do an assignment over the weekend to practice those skills, then when I come back on Monday we are going to be moving on, on Monday, we are going to be moving on to something else that probably requires knowledge of those skills,” Rogers said.