A Practical Guide for Parents and Students
1. How much homework can I expect for my child in high school?
The amount of homework a high school student may have varies from subject to subject and teacher to teacher. To get a better idea of what is expected of BRHS students, parents are encouraged to attend "Back to School Night" at the beginning of each semester. At that time, teachers will address all parents’ concerns about individual subjects. Those who cannot attend "Back to School Night" may call each teacher at school and leave a message in his/her voicemail. (Voice-mailbox extensions are listed on the back of this brochure.) A third option would be to e-mail the teacher to inquire about homework and other issues of concern. (E-mail addresses of each teacher are available on the Bordentown Regional Home Page, www.bordentown.k12.nj.us.
2. Can meetings with my child's teacher be scheduled before the progress reports are mailed?
Parents may initiate meetings any time prior to progress reports. Many parents make special arrangements with teachers to be notified when a student attains certain landmarks such as low test scores, poor classroom participation or missing homework. To arrange a parent-teacher meeting, parents may either call the Guidance Department or contact the teacher directly by e-mail or telephone.
3. After progress reports are issued, can homework be made up?
Generally, homework cannot be made up after progress reports are issued. There are, however, circumstances that cause some teachers to allow exceptions for handing in homework after progress reports are issued. For example, in cases of prolonged absences, prior arrangements may be made to extend a due date or partial credit may be negotiated. Teachers will make parents and students aware of their policy on homework make-up on the first day of the semester and on Back-to-School Night.
4. Are there tutors available to assist students with homework?
Peer-tutors are available for most subjects through the BRHS chapter of the National Honor Society. Arrangements can be made for peer-tutoring by contacting your child’s guidance counselor or one of the NHS Advisors, Mrs. Fecher or Ms. Jordan.
BRHS teachers are always willing to work individually with students when arrangements can be made. Many teachers make time to help before school, during study hall, during their lunch, and after school. It is important for students to be willing to sacrifice their free time to get extra help.
5. Can the teachers leave voicemail greetings about homework so the parent can be aware?
For many teachers it is not practical to list the homework assignment on their voice-mail greetings because of teaching multiple subjects or grade levels. Most teachers require students to write down their assignment in their student agendas. Some teachers give a course or unit syllabus that will include the homework assignments and due dates. Other teachers post homework assignments on the subject area website. For updates or responses to questions, parents are encouraged to contact the teacher by phone or e-mail.
6. How will teachers gain access to the parent’s telephone number at home and/or the e-mail address when they want to contact them?
Each summer parents receive by mail a registration card that has space to include telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. This information is put into the BRHS student information system. When teachers need to call or e-mail parents, the information is accessible to them.
7. What is the make up policy or how long does my child have to make up missed work?
When making up homework due to absences, the school policy is one day more than the number of days absent. That is, students who are absent two days have three days to make up the homework. Other homework missed (eg., long-term projects, papers, speeches, etc.) will be left to the teacher’s discretion depending on the extenuating circumstances.
8. At what point will a staff member call a parent when homework is missing/not turned in?
It is expected that all professional staff will contact parents through a progress report, by telephone, or by e-mail when a student’s grade is affected by homework. Generally, students are warned about the potential drop in grades for failure to submit homework.
9. How is homework graded?
The manner in which homework is graded varies from subject to subject, teacher to teacher. Some teachers use numerical grades while others use A+, A, A-. The intrinsic value of homework lies in its connection to classroom performance. Students who give their best efforts to completing homework assignments generally find success in class.
10. How often is the homework graded?
This depends on the assignment given. As a rule, it is difficult to make students responsible for information (learning concepts) without assessing their work. Some assignments can be graded in one day, others may take two to three days to get back to students, and bigger projects may take up to a week to return.
11. Is graded homework returned to the student?
Yes. In order for students to understand what was or was not learned they must see their graded work. Students can ask questions about missed concepts or wrong answers. Many students use homework to help them study for quizzes and tests.
12. What percentage of the grade is the homework portion?
In most classes the portion of the grade that comes from homework is enough to allow average students to do well just by attempting to complete the assignments.
13. How can students get help with their homework?
If students do their homework during lunch or study hall, they can ask their teacher or classmates for help. When they are at home, they can call a classmate or friend for help. Very few teachers give out their home phone for obvious reasons. Students may also try an online resource like Askjeeves.com or About.com. If a student is really stuck, there is no shame in writing down questions to ask the teacher once he/she returns to class. The teacher may grant the student the opportunity to try again.
14. What is the make-up policy for a student who is suspended?
Many times when students are suspended, they are given work to do and the opportunity to understand what was taught while they were out of school. Suspended students are given the same opportunity to make up work as when they are sick. (See # 6) When students are assigned to In-School Suspension, they have the opportunity to do school work and homework in the In-School Suspension (ISS) classroom.
15. How can I get information about what is assigned?
The best way to get information about what is assigned to ask to a student’s Agenda Book. All high school students have Agenda Books and most teachers write their assignments on the chalkboard or post them on TV-elite to give students the opportunity to copy down the assignment before class ends.
After two days of absence, parents may call the Guidance Office no later than 10:00 AM so that arrangements can be made to have the assignment(s) available to be picked up at the end of the day.
16. List web sites of BRHS and other web sites that help with homework.
The Bordentown Regional School District Home Page is a great resource for web pages and links on homework assistance. www.bordentown.k12.nj.us
17. What if I have a question or problem about homework that is not answered on this page?
The best advice is to contact the teacher, who is the best source of information when it comes to homework. Each teacher has a voicemail box set up at the high school that is checked on a daily basis. Leave a message and allow a reasonable time for a return call.
If the teacher does not return your call within a day, call the school again to contact the subject area supervisor or the assistant principal.
For those with e-mail capabilities, try the same procedures using e-mail. The mailbox numbers are attached to this document. The e-mail directory is also available on the Bordentown Regional School District Home Page.