Students should not be assigned homework on holidays such as March break or Christmas or other “days of significance,” says a groundbreaking policy before Toronto’s public school board.
The draft document — the result of weeks of consultations with thousands of parents, teachers, principals and community members — also says students in kindergarten should have no homework other than reading with or talking to their parents, and up to Grade 2 it should mostly be playing games, having discussions or even cooking with family members.
Among the other highlights of the policy, which is to be discussed at a meeting tomorrow:
>> Homework should only cover material taught in class and consist of “clear, purposeful and engaging activities.”
>> Students in Grades 7 and 8 should be assigned no more than one hour total across all subjects, and high school students no more than two.
>> Teachers should assign homework in “blocks” so students know what’s coming up in advance and can plan time to complete it.
>> Parents should support their children, but not do their homework — and need to make sure their kids go to bed on time even if it’s not finished.
“This recognizes that family time is important,” said parent Frank Bruni, one of the driving forces behind the Toronto District School Board’s review of homework practices after complaints from students and parents about children staying up late to complete work, or holidays being ruined because of school work, as well as inconsistency among schools.
The policy, which may be tweaked after tomorrow’s meeting, will likely go for a final vote mid-month, and then be implemented this fall.

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