MPA provides a rigorous academic school day and often requires our students to complete homework. Homework includes reading 4-5 nights per week with the purpose of instilling the habit of lifelong reading in each student. It also includes content area assignments over the course of a week with a balance of assignments from content areas such as writing, spelling, math, social studies, science, as well as long-term projects with deadlines as assigned. Research shows that small amounts of homework promote learning, but too much homework can actually hinder learning. Children as well as adults, have a limit to how much mental work they can accomplish throughout a day before the brain needs to rest in order to process information. The National Education Association endorses the ten-minute rule (up to 10 min. x grade) for content area homework. 

In each of the three divisions homework plays an important part of the learning process. Due to the developmental differences of the students, please refer to each division specific section for more information about their homework guidelines. 

Lower School Homework Policy

The purpose of assigning homework is to give students the opportunity to engage in focused practice to further develop skills, extend lessons, encourage critical thinking, and develop good work habits. Homework also serves as a communication tool between the teacher and the family. Parents are encouraged to be less involved with the child’s actual homework task and more involved in communicating with the teacher – writing notes when students don’t complete work, asking for additional support, or documenting how much time the child has spent on the task. It is important that homework does not add stress to family life. As a Lower School we respect family time and are committed to limiting homework on weekends. We believe the student, teacher, and family share in the responsibility of homework.  

Teacher’s Responsibilities:  

  • To provide purposeful homework  
  • To provide clear directions and instructions  
  • To implement a system of routinely checking homework 
  • To communicate with families when necessary 

Student’s Responsibilities:  

  • To understand all homework assignments by listening to directions, reading directions, and asking questions when something is unclear  
  • To gather all materials necessary to complete assignments before leaving the classroom  
  • To INDEPENDENTLY complete all assignments to the best of his/her ability  
  • To return materials and assignments on time  
  • To make up any missed homework that the teacher requires  

Family’s Responsibilities:  

  • To provide a routine and environment that is conducive to doing homework (i.e. quiet, consistent place and time to complete homework) 
  •  To offer support to the student, but not do the actual homework  
  • To notify the teacher when homework presents a problem or is taking longer than the time suggested  
  • Keep up with classroom blogs and/or daily emails from teachers 
  • To check student folders every evening, read school notices and respond in a timely manner. Regular backpack clean-outs can be useful in helping students stay organized 

Grade 4 Only: Sign the Assignment Book daily (at the beginning of the year) 

In Lower School at MPA our teachers plan homework assignments based on the ten-minute rule. However, it is important to note that the amount of time it takes each student to complete homework assignments varies. If your child is spending more than the suggested amount of time to complete homework, please contact your child’s teacher. We encourage students to practice good time management. Students are often given assignments that aren’t due the next day with the understanding that some nights are busy for families. Plan ahead, as it is best not to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment. 

Middle School Homework Policy 

The average amount of homework in grades five and six is approximately one hour per night, or five hours per week. In grades seven and eight, the homework load increases to approximately one and one-half hours per night. Students enrolled in band or orchestra are expected to practice 50 minutes per week in grade 5, 75 minutes per week in grade 6, and 100 minutes per week in grades 7 and 8. Homework is due on the assigned due date. Late work is accepted for a reduced grade. Make-up time is allowed for excused absences. Students will not receive homework on all MS concert nights. 

These amounts may vary based upon a student’s learning style, familiarity with material, and type of assignment. Homework may take longer at the beginning of the year as students work to learn good study skills. In addition, the time may vary if the student is working on a large project or has completed much of the homework at school. Homework is not meant to dominate a student’s time outside of school, and teachers are cognizant of the homework they give. If your student consistently works less than a half hour, or more than two hours, each night, contact his/her advisor to assess the situation. 

Middle School Make-up Work 

Students are responsible for making up work missed. On their return to school, students are expected to initiate communication with each teacher to determine what work was missed, and the plan for completion. Students with excused absences are allowed extra time for make-up work equal to the number of days absent plus one class period. Students are also encouraged to check Schoology and consult with trusted peers to understand what they missed. Parents are encouraged to allow students adequate recovery time from illness before resuming schoolwork. If a family would like work sent home, they should email teachers directly. 

Upper School Homework Policy 

  • Homework is due on the assigned due date.  
  • During extended absences, the student should check Schoology, communicate with a classmate, or email the teacher for a list of missed assignments. If the student is unable to contact their teacher, a parent or guardian may do so. Please allow adequate time for the teachers to list these assignments.  
  • Students will receive homework (an average of 45 minutes per class) for each class that meets.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to maintain a regular schedule of homework preparation using free periods and study hall fully.
  • All assignments are posted on Schoology – teachers generally provide a two-week outline so that students may plan their time effectively. 
  • Homework is generally not assigned over winter and spring breaks. 
  • No more than a single night’s homework will be assigned over long weekends, including Thanksgiving.   

Upper School Make-up Work  

Although teachers work hard to support each student when they return to school after an absence, there should not be an expectation for individual instruction. Students should make every attempt to do their work and explore questions with their teachers during upon return from their absence.

  • Following an excused absence, the student will be allowed one day for each day absent to make up the missed work.  
  •  During extended absences, the student should check Schoology, communicate with a classmate, or email the teacher for a list of missed assignments. If the student is unable to contact their teacher, a parent or guardian may do so. Please allow adequate time for the teachers to list these assignments. 
  • Students who are absent for less than three days and wish to get assignments prior to their return should check with another student to get make-up work. 

Last Updated: August 26, 2019