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Donald A. Wilson Secondary School
Homework Guidelines

The following is written in conjunction with Durham District School Board Procedure #6020 Homework Guidelines and serves as a guideline for Homework and Donald. A Wilson Secondary School.



Homework can be defined as any task "assigned to students by school teachers that are meant to be carried out during non-school hours" (Cooper, 1989). Homework is a relevant learning activity that is related to school work. When students complete homework, they acquire new knowledge and consolidate and reinforce learning in practical and meaningful ways. Homework is a planned and purposeful part of the total program and is linked to The Ontario Curriculum learning expectations, learning skills, and the Ministry of Education reporting guidelines. The Durham District School Board and D.A. Wilson S.S. believes that homework supports the student’s achievement of provincial expectations in all subjects.



Research has shown that students achieve academic success more consistently when parents/guardians are involved in their student’s education. The influence of the home on a student’s success at school is proven and exerts a very strong impact on his or her long-term academic success. Homework is one vehicle for involving parents/guardians directly and strengthening the partnership between home and school. Positive attitudes about school and about learning routines are enhanced through the application of effective homework practices.



Homework serves the following purposes:

  • gives each student the opportunity to develop important skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values;

  • meets the needs of individual students and has a clear academic purpose;

  • enhances, extends and supports learning through related out-of-school activities;

  • provides positive, rather than punitive, experiences for students, maximizing potential for student success;

  • encourages the development of self-discipline, good work habits, and positive attitudes towards independent study and lifelong learning;

  • enables parents/guardians to see for themselves what their children are learning at school;

  • invites the participation of parents/guardians as partners in learning.



Types of homework provided by teachers for students may include:

  1. Completion: Students may need to keep up to date with school work by finishing assignments, notes, questions, reading selections, and/or writing pieces.

  2. Preparation: Students may need to prepare for the next day’s class work by collecting information, reading background material, and/or studying for assessments.

  3. Practice and Application: Students may need to review subject specific skills and potentially transfer these skills to new situations. For example, independent reading, reviewing spelling words and mathematical computations, re-writing assignments after feedback is provided, and completing extra questions in a textbook.

  4. Extension and Enrichment: Students may require experiences to deepen understanding, solve problems and critically analyze situations all related to course expectations. For example, working on projects, research and independent study and creating designs, stories and drama scenes.



In order for homework to be an effective extension of the school program, teachers, parents and students share the responsibility for developing and maintaining good homework practices.

The teacher should:

  • assist students to learn how to effectively use agenda book to encourage organization and time management skills;

  • provide homework that is clear, meaningful, purposeful, and understood;

  • monitor, check, or evaluate homework, as appropriate;

  • report on homework completion in the Learning Skills section of the Provincial Report Card;

  • assign work that is appropriate to the student’s age, grade, learning style, maturity, skills, and individual needs;

  • use homework as a vehicle for developing and reinforcing learning.

The parent should:

  • provide encouragement and appropriate support, without doing the homework for the student;

  • expect the student to complete homework regularly;

  • provide a workplace and uninterrupted time in the home for completion of homework;

  • show interest in the student’s school work and progress;

  • maintain regular contact with the student’s teacher, as required.

The student should:

  • ensure that they clearly understand the homework, including the criteria and time lines;

  • ask for assistance if homework expectations are not clear;

  • complete homework regularly;

  • use the student agenda to manage time and keep organized

  • submit homework in on time;

  • prepare and study appropriately for assessments;

  • communicate regularly with teachers and parents;

  • assume responsibility for homework completion.


The amount of time a student spends on homework depends on a number of factors, including the student’s needs, age/grade, work habits and the specific subject and its difficulty for the student. Other factors involve the proximity of assessments and due dates, as well as the opportunities the student has during the school day to complete homework. It should be noted that times will vary from student to student and at various times within the school year. It is suggested for secondary students one to two hours per night should serve as a guideline, keeping in mind the above factors.