The Merrimack School District, particularly its school board, appears to have a problem in communicating. We don’t presume to know whether a change in the use of student homework as a component of overall grading is a plus or minus. The district decided three years ago that homework would no longer “count” for that purpose.

A parent was so concerned by this decision that he sued the district. He lost. We think the court was wise to steer clear of this controversy.

It was heartening to see that citizens felt so strongly about the issue that a petitioned warrant article last spring attracted more than 3,000 votes. The article proposed changing back to having homework count. It passed with 1,770 votes for it and 1,463 opposed.

And what did the school board and district do with this vote? School board Chairman Shannon Barnes said their lawyer ruled the vote was “advisory only.” The district chose to ignore the advice.

Upset parents think the change has placed Merrimack High School students at a disadvantage in competing for college scholarships and admission. That’s not a small consideration these days.

The school board ought to step up now, fully explain its reasoning on this matter, and allow parents, teachers, and other concerned citizens to get answers to their questions.

That’s a good way to start the school year.