Homework-Free Night Gets an 'A' From Parents

Montville schools participated in the first of several nights where no homework will be assigned.

Students got a break from their homework on Oct. 9 when the Montville school district implemented Homework-free Night.

"Homework-free Night was great for my family," parent Cheryl Meytrott told the Montville Board of Education Tuesday. "We truly enjoyed it, had dinner together and we really enjoyed it as a family."

Increased family time was the intention of the districtwide event, which was one of many recommendations made by a Homework Taskforce formed to investigate ways the district can more effectively assign homework. The Oct. 9 event was the first of several planned for the year and so far, Superintendent Dr. Paul Fried said the one-night homework ban seemed to be a success.

"The intent of the night, was, of course, for the kids to be free," he said. "The feedback was generally positive." 

John Piselli, assistant principal at the Robert R. Lazar Middle School, said families were pleased with the lack of homework that night because it gave parents a chance to spend more time with their kids.

"We spend more time with these kids than they do so it's probably a good thing for them to spend more time together," he said.

Piselli said the school also received positive feedback from staff members.

"I think it actually went very well," he said. "I think they looked at it as a good thing."

While the students' night was homework-free, Lazar Principal Sharon Carr said the event also gave teachers the opportunity to catch up on preparing work for the following days.

"They probably didn't have a homework-free night, but the kids did," Carr said.

Fried said the district does plan to improve the Homework-free Night for future events. He said that while the teachers did not assign homework, some did schedule tests for the first day following Homework-free Night, even though students had extra time to prepare.

"We do want to, I think, think about that. I think if it's a homework-free night, it should also be a studying-free night," he said.

Fried said other recommendations of the Homework Taskforce are also still being developed, such as not assigning homework during holiday breaks. He said the district is trying to be conscious of students needing more time to spend with their families and also allowing different technology to be used to complete homework. The teachers will also be considering consistency in the homework that is assigned.

While some parents feel students should have more homework and others feel that less is appropriate, Fried said the district is trying to make the homework process better for everyone.

"Communication between teachers and parents is really crucial so that everyone understands the homework process and what it's for," he said.

Upcoming Homework-free Nights will be held on Dec. 18, March 5 and May 13.

What did you/your kids do during Homework-free Night instead of homework? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Peter Greendyk October 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM
How about a sports practice free weekend? I see hundreds of kids every Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, parents huddling the sidelines, and I wonder how many of these kids would work in the rain or how they're getting their homework done? If the goal is more family time such a weekend certainly would be conducive to that. Families could attend a place of worship (besides the sports field) and then have a good dinner all together.


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