Parents are a bit surprised about a new method at Patronis Elementary School that seemingly eliminates homework. School officials say research shows too much homework is actually bad for students.
The new curriculum places more emphasis on the importance of reading. Students having difficulty with certain subjects have take home packets to help reinforce information learned in class, but some parents are still skeptical of the new arrangement.
Optional homework is a dream come true for most students and it's a move Patronis Elementary School officials believe is a step forward.
"I'm able to target the skills that my students need more carefully," said 2nd grade teacher Anna Hull. "I can devote more time to practice on what they need in the classroom so I feel like I am a more effective math teacher."
"The math practice we used to send home we don in the classroom," said 1st grade teacher Brenda Porter. "I like that much better because I have control over who's doing what and I know that my students are doing their work and I have it everyday and I can assist the children in the classroom and the parents like that as well."
Michelle Jackson is one parent that appreciates the new system. Her daughter has only been at Patronis for two weeks after transferring from another school, a move that Jackson believes has helped her daughter succeed. "In the two weeks she's been here, she's starting to read, she's counting better, everything...like every aspect of it all, she's doing way better than what she was. I think it's a great policy."
However, not every parent is on board with the changes.
"I just don't agree with it," said Lyndsey Gibson. "I know that they read when they get home and that's great because they should be reading all the time, but they need to continue to practice where you can get a one-on-one interaction with your kid instead of a teacher in a classroom of 18."
Principal Ellie Spivey believes the changes made are for the better. "We know that reading is the key to every other academic area and we are focusing our plan on reading first and all the other areas will fall into that."
Spivey says the new approach is based on research from the book "Visible Learning." She says other research suggests there is no connection between time spent on homework and elementary student's achievement.