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El Paso schools consider increasing time for student recess

School Recess
Kids playing during their recess time at Mesita Elementary.

EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Independent School District is looking at ways to extend student recess periods, or in some cases, prevent them from losing the precious time they currently have.

Daniel Call, a trustee with district 7, has a child in EPISD.  He said, “My nine-year-old son made me promise I would change this once I joined the board of trustees.  Now here I am working to do the right thing for the kids.”

There are two types of play times currently that kids receive, structured and unstructured.

Right now, students have 20 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for recess.  They also receive 45 minutes for physical education, generally after lunch.

Dr. Tamekia Brown, the Chief Academic Officer with the district, agrees with kids needing recess saying, We totally agree that our children need both structured and unstructured play.”

Structured recess would be PE class and unstructured would be recess.

One option that was explored would be to add an extra 10 minutes to the school day.

The problem is that adding the 10 minutes to the schedule would affect the bus transportation system between middle and high schools.

Also, some coaches that teach PE at an elementary school would then have to travel to a high school for the sports they coach.

Nothing was voted on and more discussions are still to come regarding the issue. Something that will stay the same, though, is that students recess time will be protected and not reduced.

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.


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