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It will be all work and no play for students in Rutland, Vermont. In the hopes of boosting test scores, Rutland Middle School has just announced a dubious schedule change. According to the Rutland Herald, the school is lengthening class time next year-and canceling a 10-minute recess. The only formal break students will get is a shortened "lunch and recess" period of 22 minutes.

Apparently, Rutland school administrators and board members have not been paying attention to all the research suggesting that kids need play time and physical activity to stimulate the brain. Help save play in Vermont! Join our online petition to contact Principal Wil Cunningham and tell him to restore recess at his middle school. 

*Read the full story here

Letter to
Principal, Rutland Middle School Wil Cunningham
I was distressed to learn about Rutland Middle School’s proposal to cut recess and shorten the lunch period next year. I understand that you need to adjust your practices to meet the testing requirements set by the New England Common Assessment Program, but cutting out recess is not the solution. There are numerous studies suggesting that kids need play time and physical activity to stimulate the brain.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for instance, says that “overwhelmingly, principals [have] reported that recess has a strong positive impact on academic achievement.” Howell Wechsler, director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, saying that “a lot of studies... show that more time for P.E. and other physical activity help improve academic performance."

I strongly urge you to reconsider your proposal. Not only will you be depriving your students of healthy, stimulating physical activity, but I think it is unlikely that you will improve their test scores in the process.

Thank you for your time.

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