School district policy about work over break unclear

Delainey Willing, Staff Writer

It’s the last class before break and it couldn’t be better. Until the teacher announces that there will be homework over break.

Many students procrastinate so much that this homework assigned doesn’t even get done until the night before school starts, or sometimes even the class right before.

San Ramon Valley Unified School District has no clear policy about assigning homework over break, but most of the schools in the district “highly discourage” assigning homework over the holidays, such as the recent Thanksgiving and holiday breaks.

Despite the fact that administrators are against homework over break, many students still feel as if they are saddled with hours of it each time break rolls around.

The extra workload often forces many students to make the difficult choice between studying and spending time with family and friends over the holiday.

What’s more surprising is that Cal doesn’t seem to have any policy on the matter. The staff appears to be just as confused about the policy as the students.

Assistant principal Sarah Wondolowski said she didn’t know if there was a policy regarding homework over break.

“It’s (teachers’) choice,” said Advanced English 10 teacher Gilita Thomas said.  “My personal philosophy is if it’s break it’s break.”

Principal Mark Corti’s secretary, Cindy Fischer, provided The Californian with a copy of the district website’s board policies, but declined to offer any more information.

The board’s policies cover everything from how long a student should get for makeup work to how much homework each grade should be assigned, but skips over the topic of homework over break.

While Cal doesn’t have a clear stance on homework over break, many students obviously dislike it.

“Assigning homework over break is a horrible idea,” said junior Jose Vasquez. “No one is going to do it because it’s a break. People aren’t motivated to do work. That’s what a break is.”

Of 180 students polled after Thanksgiving break, 124 students, or 69 percent, said they had at least 1-2 hours of homework over break.

Of those 124 students, 35 of them, mostly juniors and freshmen, said they had more than five hours of homework. Nineteen students reported having 3-4 hours of homework, while 70 said they had only 1-2 hours of homework.

“It sucks because break is when you’re supposed to relax from the stress in school, and when teachers give out homework, it piles onto the stress,” said sophomore Katherine Nunez.

But 56 of the 180 students polled, or 31 percent, said they had no homework at all over the Thanksgiving break. Nearly all of those students were either seniors or freshmen.