Instead of taking a zero for missing or sloppy homework, students at a Tennessee K-8 school must complete all homework. Before the policy went into effect, slacker students didn’t care if they flunked an assignment, Danny Hill, principal of Lebanon’s Southside Elementary, tells the Tennessean.
“When you first look at it, it appears that giving an incomplete instead of zero is a lower standard when in reality it’s a much higher standard. Everything we do is driven by ‘we will not let you off the hook.’ Every decision we make is based on higher expectations,” Hill said.
Students behind on their homework go on the “Intensive Care Unit” list.
Teachers and administrators call and e-mail parents about their children’s progress. Any parent can call the school and ask if his or her child is on the ICU list and if so, what assignments have not been done.
“The majority of the parents care,” Hill said. And for kids who are lacking in home support that’s where extra help comes in from teachers who stay after school to work with students needing a little more attention.
Five years ago after the policy change, test scores and grades have soared; disciplinary problems are way down. “Additionally, every student completes every assignment, and 98 percent of assignments are turned in on time,” reports the Tennessean.