New SCCPSS homework policy for grades K-2 creates controversy

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SAVANNAH, GA- Savannah Chatham County Public School System voted to no longer grade homework for students in kindergarten through second grade.

According to Kimberly Hancock, SCCPSS Executive Director of Elementary and K8 Governance, teachers will continue to assign homework, but will no longer grade it. “They still may do ten minutes of reading every night in their reading log, they may do some math logs, they may do a project in their class, but it’s not going to count against them in the grade book,” said Hancock.

The school board members say they made this decision to remove the pressure of graded homework. They also told News 3, they read a lot of research that convinced them this policy will give young students more time for extra-curricular and community activities.

Hancock said, “we have so many students in band, dance, art and sports, so it opens up a lot of time that maybe parents may have struggled to find with their child if they had a lot of homework; to be more family oriented.”

However, leaders at the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club told News 3 that they are concerned about the change in policy.

“If kids feel like they can come home, and there’s no homework to do, they may not even study because they feel like it’s not even important, and that’s definitely going to affect their classroom grades,” said Karen Hamilton-Thompson, Unit Director.

The Boys & Girls Club enforces a daily power hour for students to complete their homework. They offer a point system with incentives for students to finish their work and score higher grades on their homework. Whether the teachers will grade the homework or not, Hamilton-Thompson told News 3, the club will continue to enforce this homework time and grade the kids homework themselves, if necessary.

“If you weren’t doing homework, if you weren’t in the mind-state to do homework from kindergarten to the second grade, when you get to middle school you may feel like, ‘why should I have to do this? This isn’t that important’ and you won’t build those study habits,” said Hamilton-Thompson.

District leaders told News 3 they don’t want to create concern, they just want every child to feel successful.

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