HOMEDALE -- School is back in session at Homedale Elementary School, but this year there's something big missing from the syllabus.
“This year we decided to implement a homework policy that was a "no homework" policy,” said principal Terri Vasquez.
That's right - no homework tonight or any night for every student in the school.
“When the kids go home I want them to play, and create and use their imaginations and spend time with family,” said Vasquez. “We start before 8:00 in the morning and we go until almost 4:00 at night. And so our students have no family time.”
Vasquez says she decided to do away with homework after noticing that kids were coming to school tired and stressed. She says now students can come to school energized and ready to learn.
“I get a lot of hugs from kids, I've gotten some hugs from parents and some ‘bless your hearts’ and ‘hallelujahs,’” said Vasquez.
Tarah Uranga says her oldest son Xavier used to have up to an hour of homework every night, as a first-grader.
“I was instantly relieved,” said Uranga. “We're in tons of extracurricular activities so it was a constant locking of horns as soon as he got home: ‘Hurry up, do your homework eat your dinner, you know?’”
Wade Black says he's not sure that this new policy sends the right message to kids about hard work.
“I have mixed feelings about it initially,” said Black, who has a first-grade son at the school. “It's like ‘yeah, we don't have to do it,’ but I don't know long term if it's healthy to have our kids do it.”
“You think that it's going to be a good thing to make kids responsible but I think kids end up having so much to do after school it ends up being a burden for the parents and the kids,” said Teri Uria, a teacher for nearly thirty years. “Teachers are excited about it.”
Under the new policy teachers will still send their students home spelling lists and expect them to read every night. But parents, they'll have to think outside the box.
“They may write spelling words in chalk on the sidewalk to help them practice or practice in the car on the way to town,” said Uria. “I think it just allows people to be more creative.”
Homedale Elementary students will be expected to take work home that was supposed to be completed during class. The school will provide extra resources for kids if they fall behind and need some help catching up in any particular subject.