Two Recess Periods A Day To Be Mandatory For Younger Students At Arizona From Next School YearTop Stories

April 06, 2018 18:01
Two Recess Periods A Day To Be Mandatory For Younger Students At Arizona From Next School Year

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Arizona public schools to provide at least two recess periods per day for its youngest students as per Gov. Doug Ducey who has signed into law legislation that mandates the same.

According to many parents and recess advocates, the approval of Senate Bill 1083 was long overdue, who felt the state needed to interfere to preserve elementary students' dwindling playtime.

The legislation needs school districts and charter schools deliver at least two recess periods a day for students in kindergarten through third grade starting next school year. In 2019, the law will expand to include students through fifth grade.

"We are celebrating today," told Christine Davis, who is a parent in the Madison School District who initiated the Arizonans for Recess group that lobbied for the legislation.

"This has been a long, hard road for our coalition and the advocates that came before us, but we are grateful for the state leaders that stood strong for childhood and health."

The law does not mandate a set amount of time for recess rather leaves it up to schools to agree how they will implement the two recess periods in their bell schedules. Schools will not be obligatory to extend their school days, and physical education classes can count towards the daily recess requirement. Arizona parents have urged state lawmakers for years to step in to provide protections to recess time.

Few schools seem to offer at the least two recess periods for unstructured playtime, parents and advocates said. Some parents have mentioned that their children get no recess.

They told the trend was troubling and stemmed from high-stakes federal and state accountability compulsorily that placed pressure-cooker expectations on schools to perform well on standardized exams.

The Arizona School Administrators and Arizona School Boards Association had opposed the legislation, mentioning it placed yet another unfunded mandate on local schools.

--By Kavita R

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