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Long Beach School District Eliminating 'Traditional' Homework For Elementary Students

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A big change is coming soon to one Long Island school district.

Starting in September, public elementary school students in Long Beach will no longer have "traditional" homework.

"I never knew that they would do that," one student told CBS2's Andrea Grymes. "I'm excited."

"I like it," said another.

The Long Beach public schools superintendent announced the no-traditional-homework policy for the four elementary schools.

"I think it's a good thing. These kids are very stressed out. They need to catch up on their reading," parent Catherine Demic said.

"I'm all for it, because I can't stand doing the homework at the end of the day," said parent Jamse Mangels.

"I don't think they'll be nothing for us to do. I still think they'll be something. I just heard it's not traditional," parent Heather Tricola said.

Related: Fifth Graders' Petition Inspires Review Of Homework Policies In Rockland County

The superintendent detailed the new policy in a letter to parents, writing, "There is a ton of research suggesting that homework in the elementary grades doesn't help much at all."

She added that reading does help, but many students aren't doing it enough because they're too tired by the time they finish their homework.

"We will be eliminating 'traditional' elementary homework. Instead, we are asking every child and every family to… wonder, read and play" each night, her letter continued.

Grymes found a lot of support for the plan, but some opposition.

"I think that it's going to put them at a disadvantage, because how are they supposed to then just all of a sudden get the whole concept of homework and what it is to work when you're at home?" grandparent Laura Deyoung said.

Related: Patchogue Schools Experiment With Expanded Recess, Less Homework

Hofstra University education professor Dr. Alan Singer also supports the new policy, especially given how many schools operate today.

"The reality is that a lot of the assignments that are being sent home are just to document everything the schools are doing to lift test scores and they're not really very educational," he said.

The superintendent also told parents if their kids want to practice math problems or do a science project at home, they still can but the priority should be on reading, not more television or video games.

Long Beach elementary schools will also be adding short "brain breaks" in every classroom to give students more time to move and play.

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