I’m glad someone is trying to do something about children not getting enough fresh air and outdoor time. I just read mcmilker’s post about the No Child Left Inside campaign. I wish I had known about it sooner. I would have been promoting it, and sending information about it to my daughter’s elementary school.
McMonagle Elementary, part of the Westwood Heights School district in Michigan has cut daily recess from their curriculum. This is a school that houses K-5th grades. Those poor kids are going to be stuck inside all day unless their teachers take pity on them and take them outside for some fresh air.
Their reason for cutting recess? Budget. They just renovated and moved into the school building last year, along with building a new playground. Now that playground sits empty and unused. I think it is a waste. (Of course between the embezzeling and all the times they’ve been sued… they probably don’t have any money left) .
I think the school is being extremely sneaky. The only reason I know about the non-recess issue is because my friend was a recess monitor and was fired along with the other two women that were monitors. There have been no announcement in the school paper, no notes sent home, nothing. I asked my daughter about it just to double check, nope no recess. But how many parents don’t know because their kids don’t say anything?
I believe kids need to go outside. They need a break from sitting in a classroom all day. Especially with the high rates of obesity and attention disorders. Both of which, studies show spending more time outside in nature, can alleviate.
I participate in Green Hour, a program through NWF (National Wildlife Federation) which encourages parents to spend time outside with their children everyday.
Even though I make sure my kids go outside as much as possible, I still think they need a break during the long school day. Just a breath of fresh air can clear the mind and recharge batteries. I’m worried about kids being cooped up in a building all day. It’s not a good thing.
Even my high school age son (who does not attend a Westwood Heights School) gets to go outside during the day, not for recess but at lunch and break time he can play football or just hang with his friends for awhile. Adults at work can take lunch breaks or whenever breaks and go outside when they want, but small children are virtual prisoners in a building all day. Just doesn’t seem right.
It is just one more thing that brings down Westwood Heights, a district that has been plummeting ever since Superintendent Overweg retired several years ago. The new superintendent (that keeps changing) and the board of education just can’t seem to get it together.
Back in my school days there were no special recess monitors, just teachers that seemed to rotate days of who had to be outside with the children. If budget is the school’s issue, get the teachers to play recess monitors. If they all rotated duty no one should have to do it more than a couple times a month.
I plan to fight this, but it probably won’t do any good. I’ve voiced my complaints several times to no avail.
[This post was written by Wenona Napolitano.]
Oh this just pisses me off completely. Budget reasons? Who the heck are they trying to kid? Yes, children NEED a break. They NEED to run around a bit, they NEED fresh air, they NEED the social opportunities, they NEED to balance intellectual with physical activity, and for pete’s sake – they NEED a break. Good grief, maybe I should send them about 10,000 articles on combatting childhood obesity. Or early childhood development.
If this were my kids’ school I would:
1)contact the local media – television and newspapers
2)contact the local health department (they’re big on exercise)
3)contact the PTA/PTO/PTSO of the school
4)start calling parents myself
5)start calling each and every teacher
6)start e-mailing the school board, calling the school board, and sending letters as well.
7)begin picketing the school daily with whatever other parents, health care workers, and community members that I could round up.
8)you can be sure that my butt would be down at that school TWICE a day – every day removing my children from class and giving them time on the playground myself.
That’s terrible! Studies have shown how much kids need to be outside. Not only is it healthy, but it helps them to pay attention better in class. I hope you succeed in fighting this.
This will probably affect the teachers negatively, too. When I taught in the elementary school system, numerous didn’t get a lunch break at all because they had to sit and watch their kids. The only break would be when they went to the more specialized classes: music, art, p.e., etc. and those times could be early in the day or the last class of the day. Since you said the school fired the recess monitors, that leads me to believe the teachers got that time and now its gone. This is a bad decision for everyone.
Sommer-Green and Clean Mom says
Grrrr. What is wrong with schools? Hopefully the teachers ignore this. I’m a teacher and I sure the hell would. It would be math outside. How many times can we kick the ball left, right, up, down, north, south, east, west…see learning. Come on! Thanks for this post. Stumbled you and will tweet!
When a new principal came to our school – She DOUBLED recess. All students get 30 min recess, 30 min lunch every day and 45 min specials (art, music, PE, Technology, Library on rotation) 4 days a week and a 90 min session 1 day a week. This was done for the good of the kids and is part of the reason our scores have increased.
The way recess works is within a grade level teachers and classes are paired up.
During Recess Teacher A supervised the kids and Teacher B has duty free lunch.
Then during lunch Teacher B supervised and Teacher A has duty free lunch.
When it rains the teachers have board games and such for the kids to play.
The 90 min specials 1 day each week allows the whole grade level team to meet with the core team (Principal, AP, Math specialist, Reading specialist, counselor, and social worker. ) They go over the progress of classes and individual students. If a teacher says what we have for X concept is not working. They find solutions. When it is a small group of kids out of the whole grade don’t get a concept. The team finds ways to individualize instruction for them.
When a student is excelling – they find ways to individualize instruction for that student to take it to the next level.
When a student is hungry because a parent lost one of the three jobs they work to put food on the table, our social work find them help and often a job.
When a student is angry because Dad got hauled off to jail for the 5th time, our Councilor work with him/her and our social worker gets him/her into our mentor program.
Since our kids are locked inside their apartments when they get home to protect them from the child molesters, drug dealers, and gang bangers, we have after school programs.
Coach – has different sports clinics. Right now is running walking club.
I have open computer lab. Students can work on independent projects or use an computer tutoring program.
Art teacher is about to start her art clubs
Music teach has choir and keyboarding
We also have a chess club
Our robotic club is building a solar powered water feature for the butterfly garden that is located in the center of our school. They will also be making solar insects to patrol.
The younger robotics club will be doing robot battles and racing solar cars.
We work our rears off, both with the kids and looking for grants to expand our programs. Your child’s school especially the admin need to get with the program or get out of the profession.
More and more schools are eliminating recess while children becoming obese or and being drugged with Ritalin. Children have no time for friendships without recess and because of being over burdened with homework.
Here in Florida even teachers of 2-4 year olds are being told not to allow children free time to play. They are told to replace that time with PE class.
Children need to play, interact with each other and get some exercise. Homework should be rare or non-existent. Time after school and on weekends should be for playing with friends and using the knowledge they learned in school to pursue their own interests.
This is absolutely horrific. I can not believe they would even consider doing this to our children. They need to move around, go outside and play. That 15 minute recess is time for them to clear their heads and have a break. I would bet that this change will only bring down test scores and overall performance. What you are going to find is a whole lot of un-motivated kids. The children will fake being sick so they can stay home and in turn, their parents will lose money form having to stay at home with the them. I am sickened by this whole idea. When I become a teacher, you better believe that my students will have time outside EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!
All of the teachers at our school supervise during recess. Its not that big of a deal. We are supposed to have a 10 activity time but we usually stretch it out to 15 or 20. It is unreasonable to expect children to sit inside and still for long periods of time. You learn better when your brain takes a break and your body moves around.
ALL KIDS NEEDS RECESS BREAK!!!!! Going to schoool is like having a job without the pay. Each students learns from home first then go to school to learn more then they can do out home. Working people are allowed to have a 10-15 mins break to use the bathroom and 30 or 60 mins break for lunch. the students of today are our future into the working world. Recess should be allowed by law from each 50 states 30 mins a day. Here is south of metro cities stundents are n’t allow recess time thier homework or school work not done. Work hard in school and lot of homework at home. Students are gaining weight no time to play outside.