SUNDAY, JUNE 20TH, 2021

While the majority of PAUSD middle and high school students say the amount of homework they get is “just right,” more Paly students than Gunn students say they receive too much homework. Why that is and what can be done about it was a topic officials discussed at the April 20 school board meeting. They looked at results taken from the Panorama Social-Emotional Learning Survey that asked secondary students about homework habits in addition to asking questions about emotional control and having race-related conversations.

Associate Superintendent Sharon Ofek said the district will commit to working with teachers to make sure they are adhering to the board’s homework policy. That policy says ninth graders should receive a maximum of 90 minutes of homework per night; 10th graders a maximum of 100 minutes per night; 11th graders a maximum of 110 minutes per night; and 12th graders a maximum of 120 minutes per night. The board policy also allows flexibility in homework load for students taking AP and honors classes. 

“The Panorama platform permits school sites to drill down into data such that they can do an analysis of the students who reported that they spend time on homework that goes beyond the hours specified in the administrative regulation that accompanies the board policy,” Ofek said. “And that, ultimately, will help to determine some root causes.” 

Following Ofek’s presentation, board members Ken Dauber, Jennifer DiBrienza and Jesse Ladomirak all expressed concern about the number of high schoolers at both Paly and Gunn who said they did more than three hours of homework per night. They also want more administrative action to get those numbers down to board policy

“There is a culture of trying to push for more APs or more weighted classes or this or that — and with that comes (these statistics)” DiBrienza said. “Obviously we still have more work to do … And I am hopeful that (laying out goals) will make a big difference.”

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