Fernando Hernandez, the principal at Perkins K-8, makes sure his middle school teachers don’t put too much weight on homework.
Hernandez caps the percentage of grades drawn from homework at 15 percent, which he says is lower than many middle schools. Though many schools and parents across the country have argued in recent years that schools should de-emphasize homework, Hernandez came to that conclusion for a different reason than most.
Many students at Perkins weren’t completing their homework because they had no good place to do it, he said.
In three years, the percentage of homeless students at the Barrio Logan school has shot up from 4 percent of the school’s total enrollment to a peak of 33 percent at one point last academic year, one of the highest homelessness rates of all elementary schools in San Diego Unified.
The population of homeless students is currently around 28 percent. The school has about 480 students.
Gentrification in Barrio Logan means rising rents and more families doubling up – living multiple families to a space. In the eyes of the Department of Education, those children are considered homeless.