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School Climate & Safety

So Chicago Kids Aren’t Getting Recess?

By Anthony Rebora — May 24, 2011 1 min read

I had to read this story a couple of times to make sure it wasn’t satire of some sort: Chicago Public Schools this week has apparently issued new guidelines—to the tune of 45 pages—designed to allow schools to provide students with a 20-minute recess break.

Currently, according to the Sun-Times, due to scheduling changes implemented in the 1970s, only 42 percent of the city’s schools offer recess (with many of those schools holding it only in classrooms). And in most schools, because of the limit on students’ free time, teachers’ lunch breaks are relegated to the end of the school day. (Is it just me or does this sound like a recipe for disaster? This has been going on for 30-plus years?)

In schools where recess is reinstituted under the new rules, teachers’ lunches would be moved back to the middle of the school day—also known as, um, lunch time. And kids would presumably get to go outside. Novel idea.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.