FlowergirlDeb2February 23, 2002

Hi everyone! I have two boys, one in pre school and one in third grade both at public schools. There has been construction going on at my oldest son's grade school ever since the beginning of the school year, which has caused the entire school full of children to NOT HAVE RECESS at all!!

My question is this....Is there some kind of law or just "rule" in general about giving the children recess? I seem to think that because they are children, that BREAK they recieve during the day of recess is NEEDED, it's NOT a "reward." I know it's late in the school year, but spring is coming up soon and I believe that the children would BENEFIT from at least getting outside for a walk around the block each day!! I was hoping that someone might be able to steer me in a direction with this.

The school grounds are tore up, but the school is in a suburban subdivision community with plenty of walking space. Thank you !!!

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I don't know of a Law. I have read that some schools don't have recess for Grammar school children, very hard to believe, but true.
There is the knowledge that Physical activity stimilates a person's brain- and there always is the argument that many children could go home and just sit and be couch potatoes after school, with the school being their only source of phyiscal activities.
With the rate of child obesity going up , I would think any school should require recess during the day, since it is healthy for the development of children if not just mentally, but phyically helping their bodies to develop properaly. Exercise is needed in muscle develoment and in the growing process of children.

I guess the school does not have a gym? If they did I guess they would be using it.
Perhaps the teacher can get them to do some phyiscal activity in the classroom, such as playing music and having them follow her in doing different movement-not the same things I know as a recess.

I would make sure that when my child can home from school that he/she got a nice long break before starting in on any homework. Your child really needs a break now that the school is not providing the recess. He or she should run and play outside for a long while, if the weather is fine. Or take them to a park to swing and play on any safe play ground equipment they can.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2002 at 4:46PM
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Check with your state on school breaks and physical education reguirements. There most certainly ARE laws which govern the length of time your child must sit without a break while in school. Each state is slightly different. Recess is no more a reward for children than coffee breaks are rewards for employees. They are mandates that ensure the workng environment remains tolerable for both the teacher and the students. There are many things that your child's school should have been enacting since the beginning of the school year if recesses were not being given. They could have started an exercise period where desks are moved to the side and children do stretching and limbering exercises while standing or sitting on the floor. Children in my area have had construction going on at their school and I have seen the children walking to the public library located in the city park, having their sack lunch, playing awhile and then walking back up the block back to the school.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 11:16AM
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It will vary by state. We just moved from Florida. My son's school skipped recess off and on for a variety of reasons. For a while it was too many portables on the property and no place for recess. Sometimes it was FCAT (the Florida standardized tests), the teachers skipped recess to have more instructional time in the classroom. I don't blame the teachers for those choices, I blame the higher administration (district and state level).

Even in a public school, the voice of the parents works pretty well. In the case of the portables, they weren't even in use the whole time, the district said it was too expensive to move them until there was a need at another school. Until then the were pretty much stored on the playground space! Even though the principal was making requests to the district, it was ignored. So a group of us parents decided to deal with it, we were heard, the portables were moved almost immediatately, the ground repaired, and recess restored (until FCAT time, anyway).

Start talking to people at school to find out the whole story. Start at the bottom, with his teacher, other parents, then the principal. Then if you have to keep going to the district you'll have done all your homework, know the whole story, and made some allies along the way. There is nothing that moves the district faster than a knowlegable, complaining parent.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2002 at 8:14PM
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I think some sort of recess or physical education is necessary, and makes the classroom learning better.

Even in preschool, DD's school has recess and formal PE (structured games, relays, etc). And if weather or something won't allow going outside, they do an indoor PE session.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 8:37AM
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That is terrible! All the people I know who teach elementary school (just 3, but still) say they would die without recess. Kids need not only the physical exercise, but the chance to yell and scream and be uninhibited (PLAY) in order to be able to focus on the classroom when they get back. Rainy days are really hard for teachers because the class acts up because they have no outlet for their kid energy.

Poor kids. It is hard to stay focused for them. Being in school is a lot of work. I can't believe how schools seem to think that there is no value to anything children do except standardized tests. I guess that in 20 years they will be able to see how well that worked - I'm sure it isn't going to engender a love of learning on anyone's part. Too bad it will be too late for those people who suffered through school with a series of confused, miserable teachers, their futures dependent upon filling in the right circles.

If I was your son's teacher I would walk the kids every dry day to a park if there was one nearby and let them play there. Calisthenics in the classroom or structured sports in the gym aren't enough.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 11:46AM
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Thank you everyone! I am glad to have this reinforcement, because I have been letting this bother me for a long time, and my son is truly "sad" that his recess is gone because of the construction on the school grounds. It has showed in his studies too, instead of going outside, the children watch a movie, or play bingo or something to that effect for the remainder of their usual recess time. I think that it would have been an interesting study to have kept track of the children's progress this year and the effects that not having that dialy break has/had on their classroom work.Thank you all again, I am going to try to do something about this situation, and I will keep posting with results, if any transpire!! THANK YOU!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2002 at 3:13PM
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Do you have a PTO or PTA that could go to bat for you? Could you start a petition? Talk to other parents. I'm sure there must be other parents upset over this matter. If there's no parent group, then organize one!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2002 at 2:04AM
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My second grade son was totally in shock the other day when he found out he will not get recess after sixth grade!! LOL He assumed you got recess through college. He just can't imagine school without recess. :-)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2002 at 9:31AM
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Hi everyone, thanks for all of the advice and suggestions!! I haven't made any headway as of yet because of time restraints, I'm in school also!! :) I plan on starting the petition Monday though, and attending the next PTA meeting!! Thasnks!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2002 at 3:13PM
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Do you mean they don't don't get a break from studies during the school day? Or do you mean that they just don't get recess OUTSIDE?

My nephew says he hates bad weather days, because he gets no recess. The truth is, he gets recess, just not outside. A break is a break, being inside or outside doesn't really matter, though for obvious reasons we would prefer to have our kids get some fresh air.

I think there's probably a safety issue. Kids + construction = danger. The school probably did what they did for legal reasons.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2002 at 5:12PM
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Recess is important during the day for the kids. But with all the construction going on I could see it not being an "outside recess". (Safety reasons.)Maybe having it in the gym? Leaving the school grounds without proper permission is also a no-no. The school is legally responsible for your kids during the day. If something happened to the kids off school grounds you can bet that some parent would sue the school no matter how well intentioned the reason (getting the kids fresh air/active). NancyLouise

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 7:49AM
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Hi Flowergirl Deb2,
Have you met with your child's teacher concerning this? Have you talked to the principal? Have you met with the PTO? Check out the reasons this is taking place. There must be some real important reasons this is occuring. (security, safety, etc) Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the sake of all factors involved. I am sure your impact will help bring this to a proper solution.
If more parents took a more postive role in improving our communities we would have less problems and more solutions.
Schools are the largest resource in bringing about these improvements in society. I don't blame the schools as much as I blame the homes. So if you have a need or problem, check it out, find out the facts and work to a solution which will benefit all.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 11:18AM
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Thank you! Honestly I feel as if I am getting brushed off in all of my efforts to get these children outside once a day! No one has been able to spend the time to talk to me....and while I was in the school last week I witnessed the kids "free time" as they crammed in the halls and watched a video. :( I will keep up, and let you all know! I agree about the homes needing to be involved too!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2002 at 12:19AM
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