Recess cut in schools to accommodate PE mandate

By RACHEL KYLER, Florida Freedom Newspapers
2007-10-01 08:47:00
Olly, olly, oxen free! Recess is hiding at many Okaloosa County schools. With a new state mandate for 150 minutes per week of physical education, schools such as Liza Jackson Preparatory School ended any unstructured play this year. School officials say they just don’t have the time.

Assistant Principal Julie Jenzen said lawmakers mean well in implementing the law, but students need a break during the day.

“But we also have to follow the mandates that we get,” she added.

With increasing state regulations on core subjects, including math and reading, the school couldn’t afford to cut instructional time, Jenzen said.

Schools in other parts of the state have combated the problem by extending the school day. Jenzen said that’s not an option.

“I’d rather see them have that extra 20 minutes at home having unstructured play time.”

Many schools cut recess out before the new mandate.

Recess Cuts