Policy and Procedure #320.0, Homework

The Homework policy and procedures outlines the inclusion of homework in school programs and recognizes the need to communicate clearly and effectively to inform support and engage students and parents the learning goals related to homework. Each school will have a school homework policy that supports student learning and recognizes the importance of personal and family well-being.

On this page:

Who has responsibilities?

  • Board of Trustees
  • Director of Education
  • Associate Directors of Education
  • Coordinating Superintendent and Superintendents
  • Superintendent, Curriculum and Instructional Services
  • Teachers
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Students
  • Board and Trustee Services


How is this policy and/or procedure related to Board priorities?

This policy and procedure supports the Board’s commitment to promoting student achievement and well- being, the stewardship of Board resources and the delivery of effective and sustainable education programs by engaging students as partners in their learning and public education and enhancing confidence in public education.



Curriculum and Instructional Services

It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board.


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Board Policy #320.0 Homework

The York Region District School Board recognizes the importance of the intentional inclusion of relevant and purposeful homework in school programs. Clear and direct communication to students and families about the learning goals and expectations related to homework enhances its effectiveness.


1. Application

Student learning progresses in different ways and at different times. The same student may find one subject or concept easy to grasp, yet have difficulty with another. For this reason, there is no minimum amount of time that must be assigned for homework; instead, teachers will use their professional judgment to assign homework according to the specific learning profile and well-being of each student, without exceeding the maximum times outlined in the accompanying procedure.

Homework should:

  1. support the interconnection of student learning and well-being;

  2. be age and developmentally appropriate;

  3. respect the need for a balance between academic, personal and family demands;

  4. recognize the interests, strengths and needs of each student;

  5. adhere to accommodations and modifications;

  6. include families as partners in the learning process; and

  7. ensure equity of opportunity and access to help, technology and resources and provide alternative access to technology where not available.


2. Definitions


2.1 Homework 1

The Ministry of Education defines homework as “work that students do at home to practise skills, consolidate knowledge and skills, and/or prepare for the next class.” Homework is part of assessment for learning and may not be included in the determination of the grade.


3. Responsibilities


3.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. reviewing the Homework policy in accordance with the approved policy review cycle; and

  2. understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Homework policy.


3.2 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. implementing and operationalizing the Homework policy.


4. History

Approved: 1993

Working Document: April 2017

Revised: 1999, 2005, 2011, March 2018



1 Ontario., Ministry of Education. (2010). Growing success: assessment, evaluation and reporting in Ontario schools: covering grades 1 to 12 (First ed., p. 148). Queen's Printer for Ontario.


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Board Procedure #320.0


This procedure outlines the implementation and communication of homework expectations as adapted from Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools.


1. Application

Parents/guardians provide valuable support for student learning. The relevance of homework must be communicated by teachers. Teachers work with students and parents/guardians to facilitate homework completion and provide appropriate supports where necessary.


1.1 Amount, Frequency and Nature

The amount, frequency and nature of homework assigned will vary depending on;

  1. individual student strengths and needs,

  2. individual and family well-being,

  3. learning exceptionalities and accommodations and modifications,

  4. language proficiency and program adaptations for English Language Learners,

  5. student learning progression,

  6. proximity to tests, examinations and due dates,

  7. age,

  8. grade,

  9. subject, and

  10. course.


1.2 Types of Homework

In order to be effective, homework types vary depending on the student, the nature of the learning and the timing within the teaching-learning cycle. The quality of homework is more important than the quantity.

Pre-learning homework introduces an upcoming topic of study. Pre-learning can stimulate interest, activate prior knowledge or determine readiness.

Checking for understanding homework uses strategic questions to assess current levels of understanding and helps teachers determine next steps for instruction.

Practice homework provides the opportunity to rehearse and reinforce what has been learned in class and requires a genuine understanding of the skill or concept.

Study homework is time spent reviewing material taught in class to consolidate understanding and/or prepare for upcoming assessment.

Completion homework is work not completed during class time.


1.3 Time Guidelines

Teachers use their professional judgment to assign homework, adjusting requirements to support individual student learning and well-being (without exceeding maximums). Teachers will consider other subject/ course requirements when assigning homework. Assignments for evaluation being sent home for completion must be considered in the total time allocation.

The following timelines are intended to show daily recommended maximums across all subjects and courses. It is not meant to be an average or expected daily amount.


Daily maximum


10 minutes

Grades 1-3

20 minutes

Grades 4-6

40 minutes

Grades 7-9

50 minutes

Grades 10-12

90 minutes


2. Responsibilities


2.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support the Homework procedure.


2.2 Associate Directors of Education, Coordinating Superintendent of Education and Superintendents of Education shall:

  1. support the implementation of the Homework procedure.


2.3 Principals shall:

  1. ensure staff members comply with the Homework policy and procedure;

  2. communicate the Homework policy and procedure to students, teachers and parent/guardians at the beginning of each school year;

  3. ensure that teacher homework practices are aligned with the Homework policy and procedure;

  4. ensure that homework is not assigned over school holidays or on significant faith days; and

  5. encourage coordination of homework among teachers as much as possible; and

  6. help students, parents, staff and other members of the community understand the Homework policy and procedure.


2.4 Teachers shall:


2.4.1 with regard to relationships and communication;

  1. ensure classroom homework practices align with the Homework policy and procedure and respect a healthy balance between school, personal and family time,

  2. develop partnerships with students and parents/guardians to promote regular communication,

  3. share the expectations for homework with students and parents/guardians,

  4. plan homework in partnership with other teachers, where appropriate, and

  5. provide timely and effective feedback for assigned homework;


2.4.2 with regard to design and purpose;

  1. ensure that homework,

    • directly relates to classroom instruction and supports learning goals,

    • consists of clear, purposeful and engaging activities,

    • meets and accommodates the needs of each student, and

    • reflects realistic completion timelines,

  2. carefully consider the nature of the homework and construct tasks that seek to strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving as well as self-reflective and metacognitive skills,

  3. consider a homework structure that creates effective partnerships between home and school,

  4. verify that students have access to the technology required to complete homework,

  5. consider English proficiency for English Language Learners and ensure program adaptations (accommodations and modifications) are followed, and

  6. ensure accommodations and modifications are implemented for students with IEPs;


2.4.3 with regard to implementation and use;

  1. teach necessary skills for autonomous homework completion,

  2. provide class time and support to record assigned homework,

  3. model and provide instruction in digital citizenship and responsibility,

  4. ensure privacy, security and information management requirements are followed,

  5. not assign homework over school holidays or on significant faith days,

  6. ensure learning is monitored, appropriate feedback provided and instruction adjusted, if required,

  7. include information about homework completion in the learning skills and work habits portion of the report card, when appropriate, and

  8. be mindful of patterns of incompletion, providing accommodation or differentiation, as needed.


2.5 Parents/Guardians shall:

  1. encourage and support homework completion by the student; and

  2. consult the classroom teacher regarding homework, as needed.


2.6 Students shall:

  1. establish a homework routine;

  2. make a reasonable effort to complete homework by the due date;

  3. communicate with the teacher if unable to complete homework;

  4. understand that homework contributes to academic success and impacts overall performance, but not to the detriment of well-being;

  5. use time-management skills to create balance between homework and other activities;

  6. understand that homework tasks can be used as self-assessment to focus learning;

  7. locate and organize necessary materials and resources needed for homework;

  8. request clarification or assistance with homework when necessary; and

  9. self-monitor stress related to homework, communicating with teachers and parents/guardians when support is needed.


3. History

Approved: 2005

Working Document: April 2017

Revised: 2011, March 2018