A move to all-day kindergarten and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards are triggering policy changes by the Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education.
A change to the homework policy gives the superintendent the power to develop regulations for the assignment of homework.
Assistant Superintendent Katie Bray attributed the changes to all-day kindergarten and the greater expectations of students with the Common Core State Standards.
"We're making homework time guidelines that are commensurate with increased expectations," Bray said after Tuesday night's board meeting.
One guideline states that teachers should consider a student’s age and mastery of skills, need for play time and out-of-school responsibilities and activities when assigning homework.
The guidelines state that kindergartners through second-graders should have homework once or twice a week for a maximum of 30 minutes each, not to exceed more than three hours per week.
Homework for third to fifth grades should be given two or three times a week for 30 minutes to one hour maximum each and not to exceed five hours a week.
Grades six to eight can get daily homework for one hour to an hour and 30 minutes maximum. High school students should get a maximum of two hours and 30 minutes of homework daily.
Another policy change reflects a practice that has actually been in place since 2012, allowing kindergarten students to ride the bus to and from school.
Kindergartners at Rapid City Area Schools have been riding the bus to and from school since all-day kindergarten began in 2012, instead of just one way when kindergarten was half a day, but school policy did not reflect that change.
In other business Tuesday, the Rapid City Central Knowledge Bowl team was recognized for winning the South Dakota Regional Science Bowl in Huron.
The team will represent South Dakota and the region at the National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C., at the end of April.
Central High School will compete against approximately 70 teams from across the country at the competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The event includes five days of science seminars, academic competitions and a tour of the Washington area.
This is the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the past 10 years that Central will go to the national competition.
Team members include Thomas DeLong, Shane Lapczynski, Nathanial Bennett, Adam Grigg and Nicholas Fay. The Knowledge Bowl Team is coached by Mike Slaback.