Students in kindergarten through fourth grades won't be receiving homework at Norfolk Public Schools this year.
The district has recently reviewed the research on homework for elementary-aged students and has set this new expectation for homework during the 2017-2018 school year. This is based on research that shows that homework for students in these grades does not have a positive effect on student achievement, school officials said.
Superintendent Dr. Jami Jo Thompson said in a letter posted on the school's website:
"We believe that our young students work hard at school all day. Rather than spending their evenings doing homework, we want them to do things that are proven to correlate with student success: eating dinner as a family, reading, playing outside, and getting to bed early. Therefore, we will not be formally assigning homework in grades K-4 this year. (However, please note: If a student exhibits off-task behaviors during the school day and fails to complete an assignment when adequate class time has been provided, the assignment will be sent home for completion)."
The district is not making any changes to its homework policies for grades 5-12 at this time, as the research for upper grades is mixed, Thompson said. Norfolk Public Schools needs time to review this research further in order to be sure that its decision is what is best for these older students.
"Norfolk Public Schools has a motto of 'Nothing Prevents Success,' " Thompson's letter said. "This new policy, and the research that backs the decision, continue to strive to create a successful learning environment for NPS students."