In our effort to provide the most progressive education to our students, we have replaced "homework" with "independent practice," which studies have shown supports the implementation of strategies that will foster independent learning.
During the school year, students are given assignments that are to be completed independently at home. The design of independent practice is to have our students shift their thinking from one of turning in work for a grade to turning in work that will give them the feedback needed to be a more skilled student.
It is recommended, and supported by research, that teachers refrain from assigning independent practice over long weekends or holidays. We are sensitive to the impact of "homework" on family and respect the value of family time. We encourage students and parents to communicate challenges students face in completing independent practice. Newmark also believes that the successful use of independent practice to support learning is not dependent upon the amount of time taken with homework but the degree to which it:
• Engages students
• Connects to the students’ individual abilities
• Links to the work undertaken in class