Parents Want More Time For Recess

SPOKANE — Some parents in the Spokane Public School District say their kids don’t have enough breaks. At some schools kids receive a 40 minute break. But that’s not the case in Spokane.

Elementary school aged kids only get one break a day in the Spokane Public School District and in that time they have to stand in line for lunch and eat lunch. That doesn’t leave very much time for a friendly kick ball game.

The average school day goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Crystal Kranz has a five-year-old all-day kindergartner and a seven-year-old second grader that are both in school for those six hours.

“Everybody gets mad to hear that their kid only gets one break all day long, said Kranz. “These are kids in a classroom all day long.”

Government studies show that the longer kids, especially younger ones, sit without a break, the less attentive they are.

“Normally when I talk to parents and ask, how many breaks. They say every couple of hours,” said Kranz.

But some kids in the Spokane Public School District only get one break a day. Some adults get more breaks than that in the workplace.

“They should at least get what state law requires adults,” said Kranz.

Terren Roloff, Public Information Officer with Spokane Public Schools, says that the district is doing it’s best.

“I believe the teachers know best what their student’s need,” said Roloff.

Spokane Public Schools leaves recess time up to individual schools and individual teachers.

“We also know we only have five-and-a-half or six hours a day with that student,” said Roloff. “We have to teach them a lot, unfortunately there’s not time for everything.”

So traditional recess suffers, but Roloff says modern learning is much more active and hands-on.

“So kids aren’t just sitting there drifting away,” she said.

But Kranz has witnessed her daughter drifting away in the classroom.

“At 11 or 11:30 her head is in the clouds, she’s not paying attention,” said Kranz.

Interestingly, obesity rates among children are tripling every two decades. But in that same period, 20 percent of elementary schools nationwide have decreased recess time, almost four percent have cut recess altogether.