Homework and Makeup Work (Secondary Grading and Reporting)

Information about purpose and amount of homework. Guidance for providing and grading make up work due to absences is also included.

Homework and Independent Practice

Homework should serve a positive purpose for learning and support the instructional program. Homework should be a vehicle through which students practice, apply, and/or elaborate on content that they are currently learning. It may also be used as preparation for learning new content.

Homework assignments should be relevant to content being studied with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Homework for advanced learners should focus on understanding content in greater depth and complexity and not on increased time commitments.

It is recognized that students vary significantly in the amount of time they need to complete given assignments. Teachers should estimate the amount of time the average student would require to complete an assignment. In general, homework across disciplines should not exceed 0.5 hour in kindergarten through grade three, 1 hour in grades four through six, 1.5 hours at the middle school level, and 2 hours at the high school level. 

To ensure that student homework falls within FCPS regulations, middle school teachers should plan for homework not to exceed 25 minutes per class block, and high school teachers should plan for homework not to exceed 30 minutes per class block. Reading assignments are considered part of the homework load. Long-term projects may require additional time. Teachers should adjust daily homework assignments accordingly.

Homework for practice or preparation for instruction may account for no more than 10 percent of a quarter grade.

Makeup Work for Absences

Students are fully responsible for completing any missed assignments.  Each day of absence affords at least one school day of makeup work opportunity. The period of time allowed to make up work may be extended at the discretion of the teacher/team.

Makeup work for excused absences is graded and recorded in the grade book by teachers without penalty to students.  For an approved prearranged absence, a student may request assignments in advance of the absence.  Teachers will provide regular or alternative assignments in advance of the absence, when feasible. Following any absence, including a prearranged absence, students should make arrangements with individual teachers for makeup work.  

Long-Term Excused Absence 

Absence from school for an extended period may be excused for the following reasons:

  • long-term illness (verified by a physician’s note).
  • hospitalization.
  • death in the immediate family.
  • unusual circumstances approved by the principal.

Makeup work is graded by the class teacher (or the homebound instructor); grades are recorded in the grade book without penalty to students.

Unexcused Absence

Unexcused absences do not mandate course failure. Students may choose to make up work following unexcused absences and teachers may help the student and parent or guardian identify missed work, but teachers are not obligated to provide or grade makeup assignments. Make up work is encouraged so that students will be prepared for future instruction.