Does more recess for your kids sound like a good idea? The Austin Independent School District Board is set to consider adding 20 additional minutes for the next school year.
For most of the kids like Jack Alderson, more recess is a no-brainer.
“I think it’s going to be great, because you can spent more time with your friends, and you can get healthier!" he said.
His mom Rena agrees. “They’re able to focus more what they’re working on in the classroom, they don’t have all this pent up energy that they’re trying to wiggle out in their desk."
The idea of additional recess time has already been four years in the making. District officials said a little less than half of the elementary schools have already added the additional recess times.
“We’re leaving it up to the individual schools to adjust their schedules and individual teachers to make those adjustments, so some schools that aren’t currently doing it, they want to see what those schedules look like at the schools that are currently implementing it,” said Edmund Oropez, AISD Chief Officer for Teaching and Learning.
Oropez also said the studies back up the benefits of more recess.
“The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, they both are saying that more recess, additional recess time actually helps kids focus better in the classroom,” he said.
Parents said anything to get their kids active and away from tablets and electronic devices is a good thing.
“I have two boys, first and fourth grade, and I definitely see a benefit with having free time to run around outside,” said Rena Alderson.
AISD’s current proposal states that students from kindergarten to 5th grade will get 20 additional minutes of unstructured physical activity, in addition to the 135 minutes of structured physical activity already in place.
The board is expected to approve this plan and hopes to roll out the new recess times in time for the 2017-18 school year. The board will vote on this proposal Oct. 17.