Chandler parents petition elementary school for more playground time

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Some parents want more recess time at Fulton Elementary. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Some parents want more recess time at Fulton Elementary. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

One group of parents at Ira A. Fulton Elementary school in Chandler is asking how much time students should spend outside on the playground each day during school.

"Cognitively it gives them a chance to reset their brain after a span of instruction and refocus on other things," said Jennifer Ray.

Currently, third-through sixth-graders at Fulton Elementary get one 20-minute recess in their six-hour school day, along with classroom "brain breaks." 

“Brain breaks” are the few times a day where the students watch instructional videos on a variety of topics. Fulton uses a program called GoNoodle.

But that time is still inside the classroom and supervised by a teacher. Some parents feel it's not the break the kids need and is just not enough down time.

"Children learn by playing and exploring their world,” said Megan Craghead.

So the parents got together to petition the school to add a second recess to the daily schedule. On their page called Yes to Recess! Fulton Fire Edition, they point to research that says increased recess improves students’ academic and social behaviors.

"Most of the parents say yes right away. Others are a bit hesitant,” said Ray.

There are no district policies that say a school can or cannot have two or more recess in a day. Currently, 15 of the 32 schools in the Chandler Unified School District have two or more already.

“They will still meet their instructional requirement set by the state. There is no extra cost and teachers' time is not affected. They will have to do some shifting of the schedule but the time is already built into the day,” said Aubrie Krausman.

“The principal is hoping to get more parents' input, so the school is sending out a parent survey in the next two weeks,” said Craghead.

The school is holding a site council meeting to discuss the matter on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Fulton Elementary library. It is open to the public.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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