Pressing on…

Recess continues to be at the forefront of parents minds even as the school year winds down. In a conversation recently, I was rather pleased to find parents who supported the move to reinstate a FULL RECESS in our school district, but felt they didnt have a voice, and they were glad to hear SAVERECESS continues to stand up for the children and is pressing on.. And that is exactly what we are doing, PRESSING ON! In the meantime, HB3770 went to bed quietly as a direct result of Mr. Eisler, REP from Woodlands/Conroe area (& house Ed chair) denying a hearing for the bill. Amazingly, though there is much support both in the Texas House and Senate for a mandatory RECESS in Elementary schools and we are confident it is just a matter of time before there is a bill in place in Texas to safeguard our children’s basic rights..
At my children’s school the situation hit down right ridiculous just prior to the ALL MIGHTY TAKS test. Here is just one example:
My 5th grader was taken off the playground for RECESS because he didnt have a signed TAKS study guide slip. What this means, the principal who, at the beginning of the year calmed parents with claims that “recess wont be taken away from your kids” must have obviously CHANGED her mind. The voice recording from my sons teacher went like something this, “We told the students that if they didnt have a parent sign off on TAKS study timesheet nightly they would have to study during RECESS instead, but your son refused to come off the playground because he said, you told him not to.” Well, yeah I did tell him that, after my daughter had been being removed from Art/Music and RECESS for months without my permission OR consent, yeah I told him that…. But wait, didnt the principal say she would not have kids taken out of RECESS, may be that all falls back on the comment she made, stating “my biggest mistake was being TOO honest with my parents” so I guess being deceptive is better? And what makes this story more ridiculous, my son spent the night before at the Horizons showcase with his teachers til almost 9pm. No changes have been made in our shortened recess, just last week the 4th graders were out for 12 minutes and the kindergarteners for 9 minutes. Its just sad that as parents we have to validate the need of this “down time” to ADULTS, grown educated adults, who I guarantee have more “downtime” in their day that they provide to our children.
For 9 months the voice of parents in CFISD have fallen on silent ears but there is hope. Hope that the school board will do right by our children and enforce the recommendation of the SHAC (as required under Texas law that the SHAC meets and discusses and makes formal recommendations to the school board annually). The recommendation was voted for back in February and we are still awaiting a date and or more information as to how and when this recommendation will be made. With a vote of 27-6 the SHAC officially voted in favor of a “20 minute active-on the playground” recess across the board at all elementary schools in CyFair. Since February, hundreds if not thousands of kids in CFISD have little RECESS at the hands of principals who feel the pressure to make certain their schools perform to high standards on the TAKS tests. The high pressure they feel translates to overwhelming stress on all our children who are asked to give 110 % and who deserve this minimal time of 20 minutes to just be kids and de-stress from the pressures of the classroom. So much research goes to show that the breaks provided by RECESS only increase a students focus and academic retention. Research and articles are coming out weekly about RECESS:
Is more RECESS the answer to academic woes?
CNN: why kids need RECESS
NAESP: why recess matters and how to defend it perhaps my principal isnt part of the NAESP?
Lost outdoor RECESS leading to childhood STRESS
Prisoners in TX get more downtime than students
Crisis in Kindergarten: why kids need RECESS
How movement grows the brain
US dept of Ed: Recess and Importance of Play recommend 20 minute minimum RECESS during school

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