Teachers make homework assignments to supplement classroom instruction.  Homework assignments will increase in difficulty and number as students progress through the grades at Paly.  Students and parents are encouraged to check with the teacher if assignments seem unreasonable in length.

The average amount of homework assigned in core subjects on a daily basis is 30 minutes per subject.  Honors or advanced level courses will have more homework.  Most projects and papers are assigned two weeks in advance.  All teachers in the English, Math, Science, History/Social Science and World Languages departments provide at least a weekly and, in some instances, a monthly advance assignments calendar.  Teachers either post the calendars on the classroom blackboards or whiteboards, post on the web, or provide handouts.

Homework Holidays

Over semester break, there will be no homework – reading, tests, quizzes, or projects – due the first day of the second semester.

Advanced Placement Courses

AP courses are college level course, so the amount of work assigned may be considerably more rigorous and time-consuming.  It is advisable to review the course expectations when enrolling in AP courses.  Reviews may be necessary during Spring Break, depending on the exam schedule.

Make-up work: 

Students legally absent for more than three consecutive days may request home assignments through the Guidance Department.  You do not have to wait three days before requesting home assignments.  For a shorter absence, students are encouraged to contact a student in the same class.  They should also refer to their assignment calendars (if any), teacher and/or class websites, or email the teacher.  Students expecting a prolonged period of absence may qualify for a home teacher.  Contact the Guidance Secretary for information at 650-329-3712.

Planned partial-day absences:

Students excused for part of a day for school-related activities (field trips, athletics, etc.), medical/ dental appointments, or court appearances, must submit homework for classes to be missed before the absence or it may not be accepted.  It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements in advance with the teachers to make up a test – ideally before leaving school on the day of the partial absence or upon return to class.

Excused health absences:

Students with excused health absences are allowed to make up any assignments, quizzes, or tests missed during the absence. For short absences, students are encouraged to contact another student in the same class, refer to their assignment sheets or the class web page, or email the teacher. (Teachers distribute their preferred protocol at the opening of school and at Back to School Night.) Students have a one-day extension for every day missed. Students cannot be expected to do homework when they are ill: however, it is in their best interest to make up the work as quickly as possible when they return so they do not fall further behind.

If a student is out for illness for 3 or more days, parents may request homework assignments through the Guidance Office. (Parents do not have to wait 3 days before requesting the homework if they know their child is out for a prolonged period.) When parents make this request, teachers will receive a “Homework Request” from the Guidance Office. Teachers will place the homework assignment in the “Homework Box” in the Guidance Office for pick up by the designated date.