Elementary schools get rid of recess

For Syracuse’s elementary school students, recess will no longer be part of the daily agenda, as the district’s master schedule for the new year mandates every minute of their day be spent on instruction, save for a 30-minute lunch break, the Post-Standard reports. Teachers will have the option of offering recess if they so choose, but at the expense of English language arts and math instructional time.

“That’s a choice I hope every teacher considers very carefully,” district Chief Academic Officer Laura Kelley told the Post-Standard, adding that focusing on instruction is more essential than allocating time for recess, given that Syracuse’s student achievement ranks among the lowest in the state.

The district reportedly implemented the master schedule in an effort to ensure teachers satisfy new state requirements that dictate the number of minutes they spend teaching core subjects. The requirements are part of the state’s new teacher accountability rules…Read More

At one school, a push for more play time

Some kindergarten parents at Public School 101, a graceful brick castle in Forest Hills, Queens, wanted more free play time for their children; so they decided to do something about it, reports the New York Times. Gone were the play kitchens, sand and water tables, and dress-up areas; half-days were now full days. Instead, there were whiteboards, and the kindergartners, in classes of up to 27, practiced reading and math on work sheets on desks at P.S. 101, also known as the School in the Gardens…

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