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No more homework? Long Island school district seeks parents’ input

PATCHOGUE, Long Island —  If there’s one guarantee about being a student, it’s that you’ll be doing homework after class lets out. But one school district is considering taking a pass on the tradition for good.

Patchogue-Medford School District posted a survey online Wednesday asking parents about their child’s homework habits. The questionnaire is meant to help school officials decide whether they should limit after-school assignments — or eliminate them entirely.

Among the 18 questions posed to parents are these queries:

“What do you feel is an appropriate amount of homework for your child’s grade level?”

“How do you feel about weekend homework over holiday vacations?”

The final question asks parents what teacher could do to make the homework process better. “Stop giving homework altogether” and “Give less homework” are two options parents can choose.

The initiative would affect students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Patchogue-Medford School Superintendent Michael Hynes said it’s necessary to spend more time on students’ development in elementary school rather than having them anguish over homework.

“For me, at the elementary level where we are so focused on the emotional, physical needs of our children, this is another possible way — and I underline possible way for the board — to consider supporting that mission,” Superintendent Michal Hynes told News 12 Long Island.

If school leaders decide to cut the amount of homework given to students, the results could be beneficial. A study released in 2015 by The American Journal of Family Therapy found students in their early years of elementary school were stressed because they were doing more homework than teachers recommend.

First-graders observed by the study were spending 28 minutes on homework every night, compared to the 10 minutes recommended by the National Education Association.

Second-grade students were spending about 29 minutes, 9 more than what the NEA recommends.

The group urges that no homework be given to kindergarten students, but the study found those young pupils were spending up to 25 minutes on assignments after school let out.