MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan (PIX11) - A public elementary school in Manhattan is taking a dramatically different approach to homework, which encourages students to play more, and spend more time with their families. P.S. 116 has essentially done away with homework-at least homework as we know it.
"Our families are suffering from not having any more homework," said Marwa Keshk, who has two children who go to the Pre-K through fifth grade school on East 33rd Street. She said she doesn't like what she sees her daughter, a third grader, doing instead.
"She's spending more time in front of the TV, in her room, playing," said Keshk.
P.S. 116 Principal Jane Hsu explained the change in the following statement:
"In consultation with our School Leadership Team, we are excited that we are redefining the landscape of homework – but we are certainly not eliminating homework. We are creating opportunities for students and their families to engage in activities that research has proven to benefit academic and social-emotional success in the elementary grades. We look forward to seeing the positive impact our newly designed homework options will have on our students and their families."
New York City schools are not bound by a specific homework policy. A spokesman for the Department of Education said assigning homework is left to the discretion of those who know the students best-principals and teachers.
Maya Baraka, a second grader at P.S. 116 said no homework is not a good idea.
"You won't learn anything," she said. Her mother agreed. To make up for what she feels her daughter isn't getting now, Lamia Baraka has put her in a supplemental program where traditional homework is given.
"Without homework we don't have any clue what they're taking at school," said the concerned parent. "It's very hard to follow up with the kids."
"You can't control kids of this generation without homework," said Marwa Keshk.
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