North Scott ramps up consistency with school district’s homework policy

ELDRIDGE, Iowa — The North Scott School District is rolling out four points of emphasis for teachers this school year, including one that aims to standardize how teachers assign homework.

"We absolutely have homework. We believe in independent practice and students practicing what they've learned to truly understand and not just memorize it," said Joe Stutting, Superintendent of Schools for the North Scott School District.

Related: Teacher's policy of 'no formally assigned homework' gets international praise 

Teachers will only assign homework on topics that have already been taught in the classroom. It's a policy that may seem obvious, but by clarifying, administration hopes it will ensure teachers across the district are on the same page.

"It was never consistent, and so we're trying to get that consistency," said Stutting.

The other three points of emphasis include restricting retesting, cutting back on the ways students can earn extra credit, and eliminating giving students zeros on schoolwork.

"When you look at what happens to a kid's grades when you enter zeros in, it really doesn't represent whether they learned or not," said Stutting, adding the changes are a part of the district moving toward focusing on what students learn and away from focus on grades and points.