High expectations and academic rigor are hallmarks of the Early College High School model, and we believe that homework is a vital component of student success as we encourage life-long learning. We are committed to the goal that every student is college ready—equipped with the skills and character traits necessary to thrive at the college level. Homework provides students the opportunity to reinforce what they have learned, develop habits of self-discipline and time management, learn to work independently, and to take a personal responsibility for learning. At Buncombe County Early College, the path to college-readiness begins in Year One. In order for students to earn their high school diploma and complete an associate’s degree in five years, students must be committed to extend their studies beyond the school day. Learning does not stop when the school day ends. Because our school day is about an hour shorter than that of most high schools, homework becomes even more important.
Homework Expectations A suggested guideline for homework is 10 minutes per grade per night. This means that Year One students may expect an average of 90 minutes of homework (total) each weeknight in their high school courses. Of course this amount will increase depending on the number of AB Tech courses in which a student is enrolled. Even if students do not have a specific homework assignment, they should use this time each night to study, which includes reviewing notes, re-reading material, or doing additional research.
Learning Environment We encourage students to carefully consider when and where they can best complete work outside of school. Identifying a time and location for completing assignments helps to ensure that the work gets done and develops important time-management and organizational skills. Research (and common sense) tells us that students work most effectively in environments that are free from unusual distractions. While we know that all students learn and study differently, we also know that some environments are more productive than others. It is up to students and parents to determine the environment that is most conducive to learning. Students are also welcome to stay after school to work on assignments if this environment is most productive for them.
Student Responsibilities If we assign work that students should be able to complete in a reasonable amount of time, and if those assignments are clearly relevant to the students, we expect that students turn in their work on time each day. Students should agree to:
• Do all assigned homework. • Use agenda book. • Take responsibility for learning by seeking additional help as needed. • Make up missed assignments promptly. • Exhibit academic honesty when completing homework assignments. • Communicate with teachers and parents if on-going problems with homework occur.
Teacher Responsibilities Since we have high expectations for student success, we also recognize the need to have high levels of support. Teachers agree to the following responsibilities:
• Assign work that is purposeful and meaningful and that is realistic in length, duration, and difficulty. • Provide clear explanations for what is expected and be available to answer any questions a student may have. • Provide a wide variety of activities to take into account students’ needs, learning styles, and abilities. • Provide feedback by checking or grading the assignment in a timely manner. • Provide an opportunity for students to complete work after school in a supportive environment with a staff member available for assisting students who need extra help in a particular subject. • Communicate promptly with students and parents about homework concerns.
Parent Responsibilities Homework should be a shared responsibility, and in addition to providing a suitable environment, parents can play an important role in helping us reinforce our expectations and in supporting student success:
• Please check your child’s agenda book to have a sense of what he or she should be working on each evening as well as upcoming tests and projects.
• Communicate with us. We rely on you to help us monitor student progress, so if a student is not working on assignments at home, we would like to hear that from you. Also, if a student is spending too long on homework each night, we need to know that as well.
• Encourage and praise your child when you see him or her working on assignments each night. Early College students have made the commitment to doing more work--not less--and we need to remind them that their efforts are recognized and will pay off in countless ways.
Accountability If students do not complete homework assignments as directed by the teacher, the consequences will be immediate and meaningful. For example:
• Students may be asked to call home to let parents know about missed assignments. • Students may lose lunch privileges in the café and will eat lunch while they complete missed work in Birch. • Students may be required to stay after school that day. • Students may receive a grade of “i” until the work is completed because failure is not an option. • Students will work with teachers to establish a plan for work completion.
We hope to send the message to students that learning outside of school is an important expectation of our school community.
Final -- 12-04-06 Updated 12-12-07
340 Victoria Rd. Asheville, NC 28801
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