DPS to assign homework in grades 3-8 before school year begins

Initiative is part of district’s plan to ensure teaching and learning take place on the first day of classes

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

The new school year may be two weeks away, but Detroit Public Schools students will soon receive their first homework assignments, ensuring that teaching and learning will begin on the first day of school, September 7, and setting the tone for increased rigor in the curriculum.

About 28,650 students in grades 3-8 will receive educational activity books that must be turned in for credit on the first day of classes. The booklets will be mailed out as part of a back-to-school packet that contains school assignments, immunization updates, Free/Reduced Lunch information, the bell schedule and other important information.

By assigning homework before classes begin, Detroit Public Schools aims to place greater emphasis on the importance of using every second of educational time available through the school year.

“We want to change the culture of the classroom and place more emphasis on the importance of attending class on the first day of school,” said Assistant Superintendent Karen Ridgeway, who leads the district’s Office of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Accountability. “The exercises are fun and educational, and we invite parents and students to work on them together.”

The 62-page Field Trip Detroit books contain literacy exercises and activities such as word searches and puzzles that have been customized for each grade level, with an emphasis on areas that DPS students have struggled with on the MEAP test. For example, DPS third graders in the past have had difficulty with the concepts of character and setting in stories, so the third-grade booklet contains an exercise that reinforces those concepts.

Teachers are expected to use the booklets as their first lessons. The district is distributing answer keys as well as teacher guides to every teacher and a parent guide will be sent to each home.

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