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Students Respond to Homework Changes

Izzy Lopez-Kalapir '20, Assistant News Editor
As Term I comes to a close, students and faculty have had nearly half of the school year to experience the new homework policy changes.  
For grades 9-12, 45 minutes of work is expected for each class period, with an hour of work for English classes and history classes working on term papers. In the Junior School, 30 minutes of work is expected for each class period, with 45 minutes for English classes.

Some students have said that they have noticed the change in policy, while others have not. On whether his homework load has changed, Nic Burtson ‘20 commented, “Yeah I guess. I think my teachers have been pretty good about decreasing the homework load but it also might be the classes I’m taking this year. I don’t see any teachers pushing the limit really.”

Senior Naomi Roberts ‘18 compared her current workload to that of last year’s: “I think that my homework load was more or less reasonable last year, but there
were definitely nights when I found myself up way too late or spending far longer on homework than the supposed allotted time. Unfortunately, I don’t really feel like that’s changed! Maybe it’s just because Junior Year and Senior Year are particularly difficult years in school, but I think I can speak for my peers and myself when I say that we still are often overwhelmed by the workload. I think that the new homework policy has helped a bit in some places, which is great, but overall hasn’t enacted that much of a change.”

Speaking on the realities of implementation, Emi Krishnamurthy ‘20 said, “Teachers say you can email them if [homework] takes you longer than the time limit, but then you have to face the consequences of not having done your homework.”

Yue Yin ‘20 said, “I play piano outside of school but I don’t think that it really helps. The lessened homework doesn’t really give me that much more time. I had
just enough time to finish my homework, go to lessons, and practice, but not much else.” David Harpin, Dean of Academics and member of the Academic Policy Committee, said that the workload of past years had “just added up to too much work given that students have many other obligations.”

For the new homework policy to be integrated properly, teachers must be cognizant and actively work it into their lesson planning. On the state of teacher awareness, Liam Day ‘18 commented, “I don’t think teachers actually realize how much homework they’re assigning.” However, Weisman contrasted this when he explained how his teachers do care for their students and regularly check in about homework hours with them. He said, “In my English class, my teacher has us keep track of our homework times in a
log. There is a definite change from last year. Overall, I like the policy and how it is helping me and my friends.”

The new homework policy has responses from the student body, but as teachers and students slowly adapt to the change, time will tell if it ends up helping everyone that it is targeted at. Until then, good luck to everyone with thirty-pound backpacks and late nights writing lab reports, reading English books, and completing problem sets for math. 
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