What Homework Policies Look Like at Metro Detroit School Districts

Parent involvement remains key in making homework effective for students.

As parents in metro Detroit, it’s important to stay informed about the evolving educational landscape. That includes homework policies. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable shift in how homework is assigned and perceived

Ten years ago, homework was largely seen as an essential part of education. It was believed to reinforce what was taught in class, build study habits and improve students’ responsibility. Teachers often assigned daily homework, sometimes without considering the entire workload from all subjects.

More recently, there’s an emphasis on the quality of homework rather than quantity. Education experts and school boards are recognizing that homework can lead to student burnout, stress and a negative impact on family time and extracurricular activities. As a result, many public schools have adopted policies that limit the amount of homework or emphasize assignments that are more engaging, creative and relevant to students’ lives.

What four districts are doing

We looked at four public schools’ approaches to homework:

Ann Arbor Public Schools

The word “homework” is only found twice in the 40-page Parent/Student Handbook. On page 22, under Disciplinary Action Level, it says “Homework shall be provided during any exclusion from classes and make-up privileges will be the same as for an excused absence.” It also appears related to suspensions, noting homework will be provided.

Chippewa Valley Schools, Clinton Township 

The student-parent handbook outlines the homework policy, which says students should expect homework assignments. It says: “The purpose of homework is to reinforce skills and knowledge which are taught in class. The teacher decides the amount and type of assignments. Student grades will reflect the completion of all work, including outside assignments. Homework is also part of the student’s preparation for the Michigan Merit Exam and graduation. Homework will not generally be used for disciplinary reasons but only to enhance the student’s learning.” 

Novi Community School District 

The homework policy says students should expect homework assignments. “Students are given ample time to complete daily assignments during school hours. Work that is not completed will be sent home for completion. Student grades will reflect the completion of all work, including outside assignments. It is expected that these assignments will be completed and returned to the teacher on the following day. Due to differences in age levels and grade levels, homework expectations will differ. Any homework assigned will be reasonable in length in order to allow time for family and social development. Homework will not be provided prior to vacations during scheduled school days. Students are expected to complete missed assignments after returning to school.” 

Taylor School District

The Parent Involvement Everyday page on the school district’s website emphasizes the importance of parents’ participation in their child’s homework: 

  • “Let your child know that school is important. Be sure to ask questions about school and homework and set up a quiet place for your child to work.
  • Read everything that is sent home from school — report cards, homework assignments, school lunch plans, vacation and bus schedules. Show your child that you are well informed.
  • When your child asks for help with homework, provide guidance, not answers. It’s not your job to know your child’s classroom material. You can help best by asking questions, giving encouragement, and having your child review class notes, previous homework and completed tests. You can always call or write a note to the teacher if your child is struggling.”

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Steffy McCourt
Steffy McCourt
Steffy McCourt brings over 15 years of experience in education, parenting, and travel writing for esteemed publications like We Are Teachers and LA Family Travel. Recognized for her commitment to advancing literacy and writing skills, Steffy is honored to be a Fellow of the National Writing Project. She collaborates with educators nationwide to enhance teaching practices and empower student writers.

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