I thought I'd bring a relatively fun topic to the caucus, but a crucia one nonetheless to K-12 education attainment: recess. Many of this will remember this from elementary school, the time during the day in which we were allowed to play outdoors or indoors with other children in a safe, structured environment.
Research on the importance and effectiveness of having this period of time for students has been done by many circles. The very concept of "play" has been analyzed further; according to the Brookings Institute, "Play helps students develop socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. During play, students learn and practice important skills, such as cooperation, conflict resolution, respect for others, and self-regulation. Some adult support is needed to facilitate safe and healthy opportunities for all kids to play, and then the adults can step back and allow the play to unfold."
In spite of this, however, some schools have been cutting back or diluting their recess programs due to funding issues. Whether this means shortening recess, placing less supervision for them, or eliminating them altogether, some districts are seeing a reduction in this manner. This decreased supervision aspect is actually very significant, since students truly only reap the benefits of play when they feel safe and secure.
So my questions to the caucus are:
1) Drawing on your own experience, what do you think is the importance for schools to continue having strong, structured recess programs?
2) And another interesting question, until what age do you think these school recesses should continue? Mine, for example, ended after 6th grade.