This site was started as a way to get the word out about the reduced state of RECESS in CyFair Schools in Houston, Tx.
As a parent of students in elementary schools within CyFair, I was really surprised when our elementary school principal informed us (on 3 occasions) that our children’s recess was to be only 15 minutes. The reasons we were given: the use of Second Step Curriculum, which our school successfully implemented last year during part of their morning routine and which they now do once a week and not part of recess at all. Then we were told, the office gets clogged with kids getting in trouble around the 22-25 minute mark, and they dont want to have to deal with all of that. What a great time our school could utilize to help advocate peer mediation and social growth with our children, but instead they see this time as inconvenient.
Then we were told “well we are one of the last schools in the district to shorten recess.” Doing research (including getting data directly from the school district) shows that there is indeed a trend to shorten recess in CyFair. But not all schools do, in fact there are many schools still within our district whose principals allow their students the full benefit of 20- 25 minutes on the playground.
This is simply a principal and campus decision and our principal chose to take away valuable unstructured time from our children just because she could.
All of these reasons we were given fell short of reasonable rationale especially when considering we have a 30 miunte window according the the CyFair ISD website and said administrators. The case has presented to the school board, which as expected sides with our principal in her decision to shorten recess.
Our school website showed that 15 minutes of what use to be recess was now dedicated to “DEAR” Drop Everything and READ. Well, as part of our childrens READING curriculum, they already have silent reading during the day, and we have to sign an AT HOME reading form each night, requiring apx 30 minutes of reading. Dont get me wrong, I am all for reading, but not in place of recess.
None of the reasons we were getting were adding up, so several parents decided we wouldnt just roll over and “go with the flow” because RECESS is the only time our kids get to BE KIDS, their days are so structured that they need as much time as is possible to just run around, play games, de-stress from their academics.
RECESS serves a much greater purpose than just “PLAY TIME”. Socially there is a lot children learn from the unstructured setting of the playgorund and there is a lot of research to support that, including the scientific research of how the developing brain of a child functions better when given periods of rest and increased oxygen levels which can be a direct result of play time during RECESS. If 15 minutes is “consistent” within the district then the DISTRICT is doing a disservice to ALL our children.
We have a 30 minute window – USE IT FULLY!!! Thats all.


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