FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Public School administration plans to increase recess at the kindergarten level to 30 minutes, according to a November 5 memo from the Superintendent to the 9-member School Committee.
There is also a proposal to increase recess for all elementary school students in the district to 30 minutes.
The public school district administration was “charged by the Framingham School Committee to consider how to incorporate additional recess into the school day, initially at the Kindergarten level, but then later amended at the policy subcommittee level, to include the entire elementary school grade span (K-5).”
Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay said the “issue of recess was sparked at the Kindergarten level where parental concerns were initially raised, largely by Barbieri Elementary School families, following the move during the 2021-2022 school year by the school administration to be consistent with the other eight elementary schools.”
At the October 26, School Committee Teaching & Learning Subcommittee meeting, the subcommittee members expressed their support for an additional recess in Kindergarten, wrote Supt. Tremblay in his memo.
“Members spoke to DESE guidance, the data that shows that recess time is a best practice for
learning, the loss of socialization time over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, and
social emotional concerns and child development when speaking in support of adding an
additional recess,” wrote Supt. Tremblay.
At the School Committee Policy Subcommittee on October 2, the School Committee subcommittee members unanimously voted to change the wording within Policy ADF – Wellness Policy from “All elementary school students will engage in a daily recess period time for a minimum of 15 minutes” to a “All elementary school students will engage in daily recess period time for a minimum of 30 minutes” and to send this policy change to the full School Committee for a first reading and a vote by the 9-member elected body.
“In order to effectively address recess consistency in FPS elementary schools, at least in the near-term, we must first address recess at the Kindergarten level. Based on feedback from school leaders following the expressed concern by the School Committee on the amount of recess made available to students, it is the recommendation of the administration, based on the impetus to add additional recess minutes from the School Committee, to implement a second 15-minute recess at the Kindergarten level by extending snacktime by five (5) additional minutes. This would then provide Kindergarten students with thirty (30) total minutes of recess/snack recess time each day. Time spent getting dressed for colder weather, transitions to and from recess, etc., is not and would continue to not be taken from that allocation of time,” wrote Supt Tremblay to the School Committee.
“Planning for any additional recess time in any grades beyond Kindergarten (e.g., Grades 1-5), if that is the will of the School Committee, would take place this year, but not be
implemented until the 2022-2023 school year. This timeline is driven by the fact that
the District is waiting on an arbitration decision pertaining to teacher preparation time
so that schedules can be adjusted accordingly with a one-time adjustment and not
multiple adjustments during the current school year,” said Tremblay in his memo to the School Committee.