EL PASO, Texas -- Zach White Elementary School in west El Paso has taken a unique approach to education, they've gotten rid of homework. They are the only campus that's part of the El Paso Independent School District to do so. While they are the only elementary school that has gotten rid of homework, they are not the only campus that has put a limit on homework
"The superintendent is actually going to be setting administrative action setting a policy to cap homework at 10-minutes per grade level," District 7 Trustee Daniel Call said. "At the elementary school level it will almost exclusively be reading and literacy, there may be a little bit of math mixed in there too, but mostly reading."
While the kids love the idea of not having homework, it was not as easy to get the parents on board.
"What's he going to do after school is he going to do something positive and productive are we going to have to make him do stuff or is he going to do it on his own?" asked John Barela, a local father. "Are we going to have clashes like we did still because of homework or not homework? Is it a positive is it a negative? Just a lot of different thoughts."
Surprisingly enough, students have maintained their same level of academics at Zach White, as the school has a "B" rating with the state of Texas. The Barela family have noticed their son has maintained his grades, they also have noticed family time has increased.
"We have seen more of a positive outcome than anything. Our kids are outside now, they are playing and that is how I grew up, that's how my husband grew up and it's just kind of nice to have that back," Kimberly Barela said.
The school district is looking to expand this approach to education to all levels of school, including middle and high school. EPISD plans to assign home work to students based on their grade level multiplied by 10. For example, a second grader would not be getting more than 20 minutes of homework a night.
While elementary aged school children have benefited from a lack of home work there are concerns that this approach may not carry the same results for high school students. However, the district believes that by cutting down the amount of home work a high school student receives, it may open up their schedule to other extracurricular activities.
"There's going to be work assigned outside of the classroom its not homework for the sake of homework like it is in High School and Middle School it's actually working on projects and doing real impactful things so in my opinion this policy better prepares high school students for the real world," Call said.