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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas revises its recess guidance

Students at Sexton Elementary in St. Petersburg participate in recess in 2015, before all schools were required to offer it. Starting in August, a new state mandate says all traditional public schools must offer 20 minutes of free-play recess every day. The school district, however, previously suggested math and engineering centers can be considered free-play opportunities.

Times files

Students at Sexton Elementary in St. Petersburg participate in recess in 2015, before all schools were required to offer it. Starting in August, a new state mandate says all traditional public schools must offer 20 minutes of free-play recess every day. The school district, however, previously suggested math and engineering centers can be considered free-play opportunities.

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August

The Pinellas County school district received some heat earlier this week when it named math and engineering centers as the sole example for schools to spend recess, which is supposed to be 20 minutes of unstructured, free-play time.

District spokeswoman Lisa Wolf emailed revised guidance to a Times reporter on Wednesday. It doesn't eliminate language on math or science activities (they're suggested as part of indoor and outdoor play) but the guidance gives several examples of how schools may spend that time. It also names options that have been considered structured "brain breaks."

Here it is in full:

"Each school shall provide at least 100 minutes (20 minutes per day) of supervised, safe and unstructured free-play recess each week for students in kindergarten through grade 5.

"All elementary schools will offer 20 minutes of recess daily. The uninterrupted 20 minutes of daily free-play recess is considered non-instructional time for FTE purposed.  The time does allow teachers to observe daily health skills and concepts.  Recess implementation will be determined at each school site with the development of master schedules, designation of spaces for recess and the establishment of weather guidelines to ensure safety.

"Recess can be provided indoors or outdoors and activities and/or locations can vary daily based on individual school needs and space availability.

"Outdoor student options may include, but are not limited to, time on the playground, free time with outdoor play equipment, or outdoor games and activities related to science or math content.  Additional ideas and resource are available on the Physical Activities eLearn page under Health Education.

"Indoor student options may include, but are not limited to, activities such as GoNoodle, Brain Break clips, BrainGym, Adventures in Fitness, Just Dance, etc.  Students may also be given the opportunity to choose from board games, art activities, self-selected reading and writing activities, math and engineering activity centers, construction challenges, science games, etc.  Please see the content area eLearn sites for update on recess ideas and resources."

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 1:15pm]

    

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