What’s Up With Homework?

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What’s Up With Homework?

Freshman Dylan Serie works through a history textbook.

Freshman Dylan Serie works through a history textbook.

Anya Scott

Freshman Dylan Serie works through a history textbook.

Anya Scott

Anya Scott

Freshman Dylan Serie works through a history textbook.

Anya Scott, Editor

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Every year, the teachers and administrators receive complaints from Black River attendees about how they get too much homework, but not many students or parents know the actual policies regarding the nightly amount. 

Black River’s Dean of Students, Mr. Donnelly, says that there are some rules and policies regarding nightly homework. 

“Black River does have a written policy, but it isn’t strictly enforced,” says Donnelly. He explains that teachers are supposed to communicate with the students, through the syllabus, what the workload will look like for the semester or year. 

Donnelly states that one of the rules addressed in the policy, which is published in the student handbook, is that there can only be two big tests or exams per day. This is why we have half days during exam weeks. Donnelly adds that 2 exams a day is “…the maximum a kid should be prepared for.”

Another issue addressed in the handbook is the maximum amount of homework per class, which is supposed to be 45 minutes-1 hour a night in high school. 

English teacher Nicole Sinclair states, “I think it can be helpful if it is designed to extend learning levels.” She says that she gives “0 percent” of homework, but she has given some in the past.

However, the amount depends on the teacher’s beliefs, as homework is not mandatory. Donnelly says, “I don’t think that kids should have busy work… I think it’s ok, but I also think you can have a really smart successful kid without homework every night.” He also states that he believes classwork is “…equally or more valuable than homework.” 

Unfortunately, many students have not read Black River’s homework policy. High school freshman Ellie Telgenhof opines, “I definitely think there should be a lot less, (and) more limits.” She also mentions that the loads of homework teachers pile on sometimes can be detrimental to students’ wellbeing. “You shouldn’t have to choose between your education and mental health,” she adds. 

Other high school freshmen, Avery Mangum and Dylan Serie, think that the maximum should be closer to 20-30 minutes per class. Maggie Bast, an 8th grader at Black River says the amount of homework she gets now is much higher than the amount she got in 7th grade. She also adds how she sometimes gets overwhelmed with homework.

7th grader Laura Rynsburger also says she is sometimes overwhelmed with homework, and that she’s gotten more as the years go on. However, Olivia Rodriguez, a 6th grader and new to Black River, stated “It’s better that we have homework so we’re more prepared for college.”

According to the students interviewed, the majority feel there is too much homework and only some feel that the amount is justified. However, most can agree that some homework is necessary.