Remember Recess?

RecessCPS parent Kathy Broderick has some interesting thoughts about the decline (and possible return) of recess:

two daughters at
tend different CPS elementary schools (K-8), one with
recess, the other with a “closed campus” (meaning no recess and a
20-minute lunch period). I believe that closed campuses in Chicago
started back in the late 1970s in an effort to keep schoolchildren safe
from street crime and violence.

"Back in the late 1970s, I was in
elementary school myself, and that means a generation (or two) of
Chicagoans has grown up without recess. My daughter has not had recess
in more than five years. But people are working on it. For example:

1. The Cartoon Network sponsors something called “Rescuing Recess”.
This movement might be working for some people, but the Cartoon Network
doesn’t inspire a lot confidence in me, what with its siren call to
children to waste away in front of the boob tube in physical inactivity.

2. Parents United for Healthy Schools
has organized more than 30 parent organizations to bring a “Recess”
bill before the Illinois state legislature. The bill, which requires a
10-minute recess for all elementary schools in Chicago, passed the
House in May of this year. As far as I can tell, it’s languishing in
the Senate. And this doesn’t inspire confidence in me, either. Check
the Illinois General Assembly Bill Status page for updates, though!

while I may recognize the absurdity in situations #1 and #2 above, I do
think recess will come back in this city. It’s time. And I would very
much like to see—just once—a program that was cut from public education

Kathy blogs about parenting and education at the Chicago Moms Blog and Barking At Kathy.

Filed under: Parents and Parenting


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  • Suder Montessori Magnet is a new public school in Chicago. This is my child's first year there and we love it. The school hours are from 8:30 till 2:30, thirty minutes longer then most schools.

    The school offers a 15 minute recess every day and gym twice a week.

    They also manage to squeeze in Art and Chinese twice a week.

    If a school did not have recess then I did not apply.

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