Increase Recess for York County School Children

Increase Recess for York County School Children

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Melissa James started this petition to York County School Board

We—families and supporters of the York County School Division—feel strongly that York County elementary students need more than the 20 minutes of recess currently permitted. We ask YCSD to take full advantage of the new legislation allowing up to 15% of instructional time to be used for unstructured activities. We ask for at least 40 minutes of recess per day for elementary students.

This need is IMMEDIATE. Our children cannot wait for months of committee meetings. Twenty minutes of recess is inadequate for our children to reap the benefits of unstructured play — which improves their mental, physical, social and academic well-being. The research is clear and well-documented: more recess means more student success. The benefits to our children and school are compelling and we feel confident that a creative and workable solution can be achieved—with no loss of art/music or lengthening of the school day.

We therefore urge YCSD administrators to increase elementary recess to at least two sessions per day, for a combined total of 40+ minutes. We also urge YCSD to give principals the freedom to decide how best to implement this change within their schools. Because our children's needs are immediate, we ask YCSD to either:

A) Start the school year with increased recess for all elementary children

or

B) Launch a pilot program with 2-3 schools incorporating the extra recess as they see fit, and reporting back to the committee after the first quarter. They could share their “lessons learned” so other schools would gain insight on ways to bring this change about within their own classrooms.

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