Hey What’s been happening with Recess?
Well – LOTS – behind the scenes. I have met with Mr. Bradshaw and Jennifer Killion (special ed admin) and we’ve brainstormed and put into place a few things. And a social work intern has taken this on as a research project – so we have data.
In October I let you know that they were putting recess removal as part of the “early warning system” for identifying possible need for intervention for children who seemed to be missing more than most. This has helped tremendously according to Ms. Killion. She likes that these students are now receiving behavioral supports instead of simply missing recess or being punished. She also feels that professional development with teachers has helped with this as well.
Inside Recess over the winter was discussed and although the gym isn’t available for all class times, MOST have been utilizing the space they can (classroom, gyms, hallways) to give kids a break from the work of school.
So the data in October showed that over 2 weeks – children missed a TOTAL of 935 minutes of recess.
In January, same 2 week snapshot – children missed a TOTAL of 565 minutes of recess. A decrease by 40% – We’re not at a level I want to be, but this is great progress. I am optimistic.
The majority of infractions are still happening in the classroom, although lunch seems to be a problematic time as well. We discussed possible solutions to this and ongoing need for support for lunch room supervision.
We also discussed issues when the playgrounds have mud or are otherwise difficult to use as this spring has been rainy. The discussion over who/how the decision is made about whether recess is inside or outside was interesting as well. Right now it is up to individual teachers/monitors but they were open to a more “universal” policy.
Any other concerns, ideas? We are meeting again in a couple weeks.