Worcester School Committee pushed forward ‘No homework days’ policy to subcommittee

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Worcester School Committee voted Thursday to move the discussion forward on a new homework policy, which would push for less homework overall.

That proposal now heads to a subcommittee.

Worcester School Committee member Molly McCullough proposed the change.

“We want to make sure there’s a balance between extracurricular activities, between family needs, cultural needs and just the mental health and well-being of students and families,” said McCullough. “You know, we want to make sure the homework that is happening is meaningful and tied in with what they’re working on.”

The current homework policy for Worcester Public Schools depends on what grade you’re in.

For example, middle school students have about 2 hours of homework a night, while high school students average about 3 hours of homework per night.

This all varies by teacher.

“I think that’s why we want to make sure that the bulk of our instruction is happening during the school day and that homework is really more of a refresher or a supplement,” said McCullough.

The new proposal is to not only limit the amount of time kids spend on homework but also consider ‘no homework days’ throughout the school calendar.

“We need to be aware that many of our students have cultural obligations and religious obligations that may be different than our school calendar, so looking at holidays like that and nights where maybe we can make sure there is no homework assigned,” said McCullough.

The Worcester School Department says this policy is only up for discussion at this point.

A spokesperson for the district sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

There is currently an agenda item for discussion purposes only before the Worcester School Committee pertaining to policies on homework. The School Committee has the option of holding a future discussions in a standing subcommittee. The Worcester Public Schools is always open to discussion and feedback on how to best serve students.”

Now that this homework policy moves forward to a subcommittee, they’ll get feedback from teachers, parents and students on how to change the policy.

Then it would be up for a vote by the school committee.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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