Since when is 45 minutes of homework for a first grader developmentally appropriate, especially when it has no educational value and is just "busywork?" Homework eats up family time and forces our young children to stay up later, which compromises their sleep and effects their academics because they're exhausted the next day. This amount of homework runs completely counter to what the NEA and multiple research studies and educational experts recommend. The administration is not interested in listening to the experts, though.
The teachers at this school, at least the ones that we have had, are excellent. They offer tutoring for struggling students and give more challenging work to advanced students.
Unfortunately, the school's administration is abysmal. The principal extended the school day from 8:00 to 3:00 to a longer day of 8:00 to 3:30. The parents were told of this change TWO DAYS BEFORE IT WENT INTO EFFECT, and the teachers were told in July and August when it was too late to apply elsewhere. Now the excellent teachers have to work 80+ more hours over the course of the school year with no additional pay. There is no PTA or parent organization at the school, and the principal will only meet with parents individually during school hours, so she has not received feedback regarding the short notice and extension of the school's instructional day.
Additionally, the secretary has informed parents that they must drive a car to pick up their children. The principal has told pedestrian parents to go to the office, but the secretary has told parents there, "You have to have a car to get your kid." The school is adjacent to the pedestrian friendly Mueller neighborhood, and it is a Title I school, so many families do not have cars. This has obviously led to some confrontations.
Unless there is better parent involvement and more communication from the administration, this school will not succeed. It is unfortunate that a school with excellent teachers and parents who want to be active is floundering under such poor leadership.
The homework may be appropriate for struggling students, but it is repetitive "busy work" for many students. Additionally, older students who do not complete their nightly homework must serve lunch detention.