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The student news site of Powell (Wyo.) High School

The Prowl

The student news site of Powell (Wyo.) High School

The Prowl

SUMMER HOMEWORK: WASTE OF PRECIOUS DAYS?

Students and staff give their opinion on summer assignments
Pre-AP+posters+depict+themes+from+each+student%E2%80%99s+summer+homework+novel.
Melissa Merritt
Pre-AP posters depict themes from each student’s summer homework novel.

The start of August can be seen as the peak of the summer. It’s also AP students’ downfall when they remember that they forgot to read their book and complete the many accompanying assignments.

At PHS, summer homework is required for students going into Mr. Logan Burns’s Pre-AP English class and Mrs. Tracey McArthur’s AP English class. The purpose of summer homework can vary according to the teacher. Some teachers use it to prepare their students for the upcoming material. Others just use it to get a feel for where each student is and know what concepts they need extra help with. 

“I really look at summer homework now as a practice,” English teacher Mr. Burns said. “I haven’t been here to prep you or prepare you to make it a performance assignment.”

The benefits of summer homework can include learning over the summer and letting students ease into having schoolwork. Also, since both classes are higher-level, the homework can help a student prove that they are ready and willing to handle the workload. 

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I really look at summer homework now as a practice. I haven’t been here to prep you or prepare you to make it a performance assignment.

— English teacher Mr. Logan Burns

Some have questioned the benefit of the summer assignments. Since the work takes place in off-school months, students have limited access to teacher feedback and the ability to ask questions. 

“I don’t think there’s a real point to it,” sophomore Curtis Muecke said. “[Teachers] sent us homework that [they] expected us to do without any help from a teacher.”

While teachers are still available to answer emails, they can’t do much real teaching. The lack of teacher involvement can make it difficult for students to be engaged in what they are learning. Students can also have full schedules during the summer. 

“I understand why summer homework is necessary,“ junior Kenna Jacobsen said. “But I feel like it’s taking away the whole point of summer and getting a break from schoolwork.”

During his sixteen years at PHS, previous English teacher Mr. Robert Hunt always assigned summer homework, so it became somewhat of an established tradition. Yet students have often questioned the importance of it, and there have been more teachers with an open-mind about it. 

I understand why summer homework is necessary. But I feel like it’s taking away the whole point of summer and getting a break from schoolwork.

— junior Kenna Jacobsen

“This is only my second year here, and it seemed like there should be summer homework,” Burns said. “But I’d certainly be curious to hear what students think about it.”

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