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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

New updated homework policy goes into effect, addressing how online assignments have transformed homework

Starting+the+new+marking+period%2C+THHS+administration+adopts+a+new+homework+policy.+
Katherine Lian
Starting the new marking period, THHS administration adopts a new homework policy.
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Last week, the Townsend Harris administration released an updated homework policy that seeks to address inconsistencies in how teachers post online assignments that have arisen due to a drastic increase in the use of Google Classroom since the pandemic. The policy addresses topics relating to assigning, submitting, and making up homework, but the largest shift is that teachers must use a universal 8AM due time for all online assignments going forward. 

Previously, online homework would be due depending on the teacher’s preference, whether it be 3PM, 11:59PM, 8AM, or the start of class. With the start of the sixth marking period, the new policy institutes a universal deadline for all assignments to be due the following morning. The only exception is for zero band classes (which begin at 7:05AM). For those courses, the deadline is 7AM. According to the email sent by the THHS administration, the school selected an 8AM deadline because that is “when students’ time at home ends and school begins.”

According to the email, the new policy came about after parents raised concerns about inconsistencies with Principal Brian Condon. He then asked a group of teacher leaders to develop a new policy, which they shared with the wider faculty before the February break for input. The teacher leader group includes English teachers Christine Duffy, Ryan Dunbar, and Brian Sweeney, ISS teacher Natali Frank, math teacher Abid Choudhury, and science teachers Katherine Cooper and Joel Heitman.

Multiple teachers and students shared their perspectives on the new policy. 

“I think, on one hand, it’s great that we have a unified homework policy because I’ve heard students complaining that homework assignments were due 8PM for one class versus 8AM for another class, and it’s hard to keep track of assignments,” math teacher Kayla Gill said.

“However, it’s also difficult because as a teacher; sometimes we make assignments due at 11:59PM so that we can look at them in the morning, if we are gonna use them for our classes [that day].”

English teacher Katherine Yan said, “I was already giving homework that matched the [updated] policy, but I do appreciate that there will be consistency throughout both the school and [English] department.” 

“I think [the policy] gives kids a little bit more room and flexibility to get as much of their work done as possible,” said art teacher Antonio Montalvo.

Coordinator of Student Activities and social studies teacher Jamie Baranoff said, “I don’t see [the policy] having a dramatic effect on the way I teach. Previously, I would have assignments due at 11:59PM, and instead, I’m just going to have them due at 8 in the morning. To me, it doesn’t really matter much either way. If it’s helpful for students to stay organized, then it’s great.”

“I think the new homework policy isn’t that bad. I guess it’s better for some students who come home late from extracurriculars.  They would have more time to finish their work instead of cramming it all in before a specific due date or 11:59 PM,” said sophomore Alina Bhuyan. 

“I don’t like it because in [AP US History], I have this chapter reading that’s due on Friday night, [at 11:59PM], but now since the new policy came out, it’s due on Friday morning. I had the night to do it, but now I’m forced to do it Thursday night. [People] will say it’s a good thing because it gives you 8 hours to do it, but I sleep at 10pm, so I don’t have the time to do it,” said junior Joyce Xie. 

Freshman Beyonce Boahen said, “I am glad the due date has changed from 11:59 PM to 8 AM. It has given me a little more time in the morning to revise my work and edit it instead of stressing the night before [a homework assignment is due].” 

Sophomore Jazlyn Febles said that prior to the new policy she had teachers who would set due times during the weekend. “My teachers no longer have weekend due dates for homework,” she said. According to the policy, “Teachers can only assign homework to be due on days that the class meets.”

Other aspects of the policy relate to how and when teachers should post and introduce assignments. Teachers are required to explain assignments in class before assigning them for homework, ensuring students understand what is expected of them and therefore manage their time after school better. 

Sophomore Ava Baichu said, “I think it’s important for students to know what homework they need to do at the end of the day to keep their school life organized. Creating this policy will give students a better chance of getting better grades in school.” 

According to the policy, “On any given day, students should leave class knowing any work that has been assigned and when it is due.” With the proliferation of Google Classroom, teachers could post homework assignments at any time of the day and students would receive a notification that they had done so, but with everyone using Classroom, notifications can become voluminous. The policy is an acknowledgement that, while remote learning is over, online learning tools are here to stay and transforming education.

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Katherine Lian
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief
Katherine Lian is a senior at Townsend High School who enjoys taking pictures, dancing, and trying new things. Her favorite memory with The Classic was her trip to Albany with her peers.
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