I am delighted to share with you a new homework-free weekend policy that we are piloting this year. Our Faculty Council, made up of faculty representatives from each academic department, and our School Council, comprised of teachers, parents, and students, worked to develop this gesture to acknowledge some of the challenges that confront our students. The policy reads:
As a goodwill gesture to students and their families, who experience stress due to our school’s rigorous homework expectations, all classroom teachers will adopt as a one-year pilot proposal a homework-free weekend program, whereby no homework will be due on the day of return after each of four specifically agreed-upon weekends (one each term), to take place on the following four weekends during the school year:
- Columbus Day Weekend (early October) (Term 1)
- Thanksgiving Weekend (Term 2)
- The 2nd weekend in March (Term 3)
- Memorial Day Weekend (end of May) (Term 4)*
*does not apply to seniors
It is our hope that these weekends will allow families to plan events or trips accordingly, and will help our students know that we, the adults here at South, understand that it can be a challenge to maintain a healthy balance. These weekends will give all of us a chance to pause, breathe, and gather ourselves.
We have also agreed to recommit to our long-vacation policy:
There is a “one-night equivalent” homework limit placed on the December, February, and April vacation breaks. Students in Advanced Placement courses will likely have more than a “one-night-equivalent” during April break in order to prepare for May exams.
We preach “balance” and “healthy choices” here at South, and our goal is that these practices will contribute to a greater sense of balance for all, and in turn benefit the entire South community.