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Dublin Students Struggle with Too Much Homework and Too Little Sleep

September 27, 2015

DUBLIN, CA — We recently received the following letter from a Dublin parent which was sent to the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees regarding the homework policy and longer school day. Is this your child’s experience?

To:  Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees,

I have a child who currently attends Dublin High School and is a sophomore. I myself have a background in Education. I am writing to you because I have been increasingly concerned with the time-consuming amounts of homework that the children at Dublin High School (as well as the middle and elementary schools) receive, and the impact on the ability for students to have a full night’s sleep.

We were all hopeful that the extra “Gael Period” would alleviate the amount of homework, however we have found it has only made the situation worse. In addition to having to stay at school longer each day, teachers are piling on even more homework because classroom periods have been shortened and teachers seem to believe the misconception that the students will get all of this extra homework completed during the Gael Period. We have also found that teachers themselves are not following the District’s current homework policy which calls for less homework.

After reading several articles on the importance of sleep it caused me to ponder, “Why has the Dublin Unified School District continued to push our students to the brink of over-scheduling, over-testing, and the relentless pressure to achieve”? It’s not worth it! What is worth it is well-balanced, happy, contented students that have time for extracurricular activities, family, church, sports and time to just be kids! We don’t need our students to disengage, have stress-related illness like burnout, anxiety, depression, and unfortunately even suicide.

Dublin High School has consistently tried to raise the bar and keep up with surrounding schools. If this is the case, then we need to heed the words of wisdom from other schools that have already implemented changes (as noted in the documentary Race to Nowhere) before the problem becomes worse and we start losing our kids to drugs, alcohol, and even suicide as escapes from the stress that has been created by homework overload and a lack of sleep.

I am asking that you place this item on your next agenda and begin the change now… not next year, not two years later, but NOW while we still have the opportunity to see the positive effects of something as simple as this. Please, I urge you to give these kids back their lives before something drastic happens to them. Let’s reduce the amount of homework, let them sleep an extra hour, and let them be kids again!  I’m certain the results you see will be life changing for every family in the City of Dublin. I’m suggesting that Dublin be the leader in change and let others follow us!

Sincerely,

Dana Ogden, Dublin Parent

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14 Comments
  1. Dana Ogden permalink
    February 1, 2016 9:18 pm

    Hi,

    I wanted to take a moment of your time to get you up to date from where we last left off after this article was published.

    I am not the type of person to complain about something and then “hope” that something will change. And when I’m passionate about a topic such as this one, I will do whatever I can to help make the changes necessary.

    Since this letter was published my daughter and I attended a Dublin School Board meeting on Oct. 27, 2015. We both spoke about this topic and shared our concerns in person.

    After that meeting I was asked to join the “Wellness Committee” and Tim McCarthy was asked by Dr. Hanke to re-establish the “Homework Committee”. Unfortunately the Homework Committee has not been re-established as of yet.

    I then did more research and you may recall the documentary film called the Race To Nowhere?
    http://www.racetonowhere.com/about-film
    Recently they came out with a sequel as well as NY Time’s bestselling book called, Beyond Measure. http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/

    I was able to convince the school to provide a complimentary screening of Beyond Measure at DHS on Feb. 16th, 2016 from 6-8 pm. http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/events/dublin-high-school/)
    After the film concludes I will inviting those that were inspired by the film to join a “plan of action/community read” committee. I will be facilitating a group to help implement a change going forward.

    A few things to note:
    To register please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beyond-measure-presented-by-dublin-unified-school-district-tickets-20815995202
    While it is a FREE event, everyone must register in advance in order to attend.

    And this is a family-friendly film for kids of all ages, so feel free to bring your children. We hope everyone, regardless of age, will leave feeling inspired about the future of education!
    And even light refreshments to be served!!

    Please feel free to reach out to me directly should you have any additional questions @
    dana@careerchoices.us

    Sincerely,
    Dana Ogden

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  1. Dublin High School to Screen “Beyond Measure”, Award-Winning Sequel of “Race to Nowhere” | OneDublin.org

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