Did your school Say YES to Recess?
Author: Summer Belloni, MISD Parent and SHAC member
Are YOUR kids able to play more at school this year? Most of MISD’s elementary schools have increased recess time this year – and this is something we should all be celebrating!
We wanted to follow-up on the 2017 Recess Initiative and keep you informed about the progress and current status of recess in MISD elementary schools.
Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC ) members in Midland ISD have worked hard for the past year researching the importance of daily recess for elementary students. In June 2018, we presented our findings and recommendations to our school board and superintendent. Several principals, parents, and students also attended. We’re excited to report that our hard work has paid off for many students.
Our superintendent, school board members, principals, and teachers have been supportive and, as a result, almost all elementary schools have added additional recess time into into their schedules have been willing to, “Say YES to Recess!” In fact, many of our schools have increased recess time to 30 minutes for all elementary grade levels which was a major component of our recommendation.
While we know our work isn’t done, we’re happy with incremental progress and with the quick and positive response we’ve had from our leaders and teachers. We have a new superintendent and many new staff members so this serves as a highlight of one of the positive changes our district is implementing for our elementary students.
Our formal recess recommendation included developing a written recess school board policy for all elementary students that includes 30-60 minutes of daily recess and prohibits withholding recess as punishment for punitive or academic reasons. We submitted a draft board policy, research to support the policy, and our survey reflecting our community’s values.
A written policy would ensure equity, safeguard recess for all children, and serve as a message to our community about the important benefits recess provides to children. Recess should be a fundamental curriculum component for all elementary school children that can’t be “played” with each year as principals change.
For more information about our work see the links below:
Initial MISD Recess Initiative Article
FB Group formed for local recess advocates that includes parents, teachers, administrators, and community members
June 2018 – SHAC Documents and Presentation to the MISD Board of Trustees
School Board Presentation (SHAC presentation to 1:34:48)