Local elementary school swears off homework for the year

FRUITHURST, Ala. (WIAT) — A North Alabama elementary school won’t be sending students home with written work this year. Fruithurst Elementary School is swearing off the traditional homework, in favor of a new way of thinking.

Principal Christy Hiett said she got the idea after looking at research on homework and its impact on students.

“The driving force behind this changes at FES was a combination of things,” Hiett said. “I knew that homework was a struggle for a lot of the students and parents at FES. It is extremely difficult for a child to go to school all day long, for a parent to go to work all day long, and then both have to struggle through homework while trying to manage getting things done at home.”

Hiett said she made the choice after reviewing research that showed little correlation between homework and school achievement.

Hiett said this is not a “policy,” but a “change,” one she plans to continue if the positive feedback from parents and students continues.

“My only regret is that I didn’t do this earlier in my career,” she said.

Terri Harris is a teacher at Fruithurst Elementary, whose daughter also attends the school as a first grader. Harris says that she’s seen a positive change, both as a parent and a teacher.

“She’s not burned out on you gotta learn, you gotta learn, you gotta learn. She gets to be a kid. She gets to have fun,” Harris said.

Hiett said the school is encouraging children and their families to do enriching activities together during the time they would normally be doing homework. On the school’s Facebook page, she’s added a post, asking parents to post their pictures of what their children are doing, instead of the traditional written work.

“I think it’s going to be pretty fun. I think it will give everyone time to chill from the school day,” said sixth grader Colin Roberts.

Hiett said so far, she’s received no negative feedback from any parents over the “no homework” plan this year. “All the attention has been really positive,” she said.

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