FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham School Committee voted tonight, November 17, to increase recess to 30 minutes for elementary school students starting in 2022.
The vote was 7-2, with School Committee member Scott Wadland (District 3) and Geoffrey Epstein (District 6) in opposition.
The policy change had been requested by parents, and several School Committee members said it was needed especially while many students are dealing with social-emotional issues post the COVID-19 pandemic.
School Committee members also cited that studies had shown that students perform better on tests and in school overall when they had more recess.
The new recess policy will begin on January 18, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday break, in 2022 for kindergarten students.
The district and the school Committee was unanimously in favor of that desadline,
the new recess policy will begin on February 28 for students in grades one through five.
District administration expressed concern that the schedule for the entire school could be done by that date, without Principals and administrators working during their winter break in 2021 and the February school vacation week in 2022.
District 8 School Committee member Jessica Barnhill proposed the two dates.
District 2 School Committee member Ricky Finlay suggested a compromise date of after April 2022 vacation to start the extended recess for grades 1-5, but that was never voted on
The vote to include the two dates in the new School Committee policy was approved by a 6-3 vote, with School Committee members Wadland, Epstein, and District 1 School Committee member Beverly Hugo in opposition.
School Committee member Tiffany Maskell said parents had been requesting this increase in recess for four years and it was about time the new policy passed.
This is a breaking & developing report and will be updated after the meeting concludes.