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Princeton School Board Bans Homework During Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring Breaks

princeton public schoolsThe school board for the Princeton Public Schools passed a resolution last night banning homework for both the winter and spring breaks for this academic year.

“It’s about time!” was the reaction from many parents in the district, who agreed that students need a true break from school work during major holidays.

The resolution points out that the winter and spring holiday breaks are the only two extended periods during the academic year that allow time other activities like creative pursuits and travel.

“When homework or projects are designed and deadlines are assigned in a way that requires students to work on or substantially complete them during the holiday breaks, students and their families are deprived of the unstructured time they need and deserve to pursue these other, equally important life activities,” reads the resolution. “Similarly, when tests or quizzes are scheduled for the first several days of school immediately following the holiday break, students are required to spend their holiday breaks studying rather than pursuing other important life activities.”

Superintendent of Schools Steve Cochrane  is launching a district-wide examination of homework policies and practices with the goals of enhancing the educational goals of homework and promoting student wellness and balance.

“The Board encourages the Superintendent to continue to work with district teachers and administrators to identify other ways to ensure that homework enhances both learning and balance for our students,” reads the resolution.

The West Windsor-Plainsboro School Board was the first district in the area to adopt a no-homework-over-breaks policy.

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6 comments
  • I applaud this change. I do not believe the move will jeopardize the reading math and science scores of students in Princeton who receive excellent instruction during the day and plenty of homework during school session.

    I would like to see the Board of Education make a move towards heeding the advice of the American Society of Pediatrics in their recent policy statement on ‘The Crucial Role of Recess in School’. I would like to see the district compelled to ensure that all students are given the opportunity for an unstructured break where they are free to move around, and that this break should not be withheld for academic or disciplinary reasons.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/1/183.full

  • According to the NAEP scores, educational results for American kids have steadily improved for the past 40 plus years. But the myth is perpetuated that we are falling behind in spite of the fact that we’re still the richest economy on earth, a leading innovator in science and technology. You are comparing the US to authoritarian regimes in China and Singapore? Really? Singapore allows for corporal punishment of male students. How many space probes has Singapore or even China sent to Mars, as opposed to the US? Funny how all these countries flock to this country for university education.

  • Most of which are either (a) innate (b) learned best through life experience or (c) taught at home by enlightened parents who view themselves as their children’s primary teachers.

    America is simply falling behind.

  • These types of studies give you a limited view as to what it takes—or means— to succeed. Things like leadership, character, imagination, vision, global perspective, humanism, artistic sensibilities can’t be tabulated and crunched into a neat algorithm.

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