Kim Puckett
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Meaningful Homework

As we start a new school year, there have been many changes here at MUES aligned with Milton-Union’s Strategic Plan. At Open House, you were able to see new seating options provided for our students to support student-centered learning. We have also implemented SWPBIS (School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) to improve school culture, safety, and climate. Positive school climate has a positive effect on attendance rates, academic achievement, and graduation rates. Even though we have only been in school for a week, we have seen excitement and pride from the students being recognized for making great choices and the staff is enjoying the focus on rewarding the good behaviors and encouraged by the students’ positive choices.

I am sure many of your students came home very excited about not having homework this year. Well…that’s not exactly the case. Your child will be engaging in meaningful activities at home to improve student achievement. Research has shown that traditional homework (i.e., worksheets, word finds, workbook pages, etc.) in grades K-5 has little to no impact on long-term student achievement and actually can have a negative influence on school and home relationships. Research is also clear that student achievement in grades K-5 is affected positively when students read at least 20 minutes or more each night with an adult. As a result, we are encouraging reading and family game time.

Over the next couple of months the teaching staff will be engaging parents in APTT (Academic Parent Teacher Teams) where parents and guardians become familiar with their students’ data and learn how to play instructional games with children that improve depth of knowledge and/or skill with specific learning standards. We will then encourage parents to play these games with their students for 20 minutes, two nights per week. Prior to our next APTT Night, we will assess each student to determine the effectiveness of instruction (game) and
then share comparison data with parents/guardians. This process will help our families be involved with their children’s learning goals at school through family engagement. Our belief at MUES is that “engaging families and teachers in partnerships leads to greater student growth and success.” This one action will align us with our strategic plan in the areas of community, academics, and growth.

To learn more about the effect traditional homework has on student achievement, please visit the following links.

As always, if you have questions or concerns feel free to contact us at any time.

Yours in education,

Loretta Henderson, Principal