Rescuing Recess In Portland sign now



We, not only the tax-payers of the Portland Public School District in Portland, MI, but also as citizens / tax payers of the United States Of America, are requesting action be taken concerning the issue of recess / unstructured play time. We feel this issue should be taken seriously, not only in the Portland Public School District, but because the elimination / reduction of recess is not only occurring locally and statewide, but nationwide as well.

Taken from the STATE OF MICHIGAN STATE BOARD OF EDUCATIONS POLICY ON QUALITY PHYSICAL EDUCATION:A childs intellectual growth cannot take place without having met his or her basic physical needs... The curriculum for every childs preschool through high school experience should include the opportunity to participate in quality physical education programs and other health-enhancing physical activity. This policy states that elementary schools will offer psychical education instructional periods totaling 150 minutes per week, and that recess should be in ADDITION to psychical education class time and not be a substitute for physical education.

SENATE BILL NO. 57 On January 25, 2005, Introduced by Senator CHERRY, JACOBS, SCOTT, GOSCHKA, GARCIA and BERNERO and referred to the Committee on Education. A bill to amend 1976 PA 451, entitled The revised school code, (MCL 380.1 to 380.1852) by adding section 1505. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT SEC. 1505. THE BOARD OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A PUBLIC SCHOOL ACADEMY THAT OPERATES AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHALL ENSURE THAT ALL OF ITS PUILS ENROLLED IN THE ELEMENTARY GRADES PARTICIPATE IN AT LEAST 30 MINUTES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PER SCHOOL DAY OR 135 MINUTES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PER SCHOOL WEEK. PARTICIPATION IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES AS PART OF THE PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM MAY BE COUNTED TO MEET THIS REQUIREMENT.

Between the POLICY and the SENATE BILL it is unclear on a minimum of unstructured breaks children are required to have. We feel the children in the Portland Elementary Schools are not receiving the 135-150 minutes of Phys. Ed., let alone enough recess time. They receive 80 minutes of Phys. Ed. a week, falling far below the minimum 135-150 minutes per week. The fact that the Portland Public School District has replaced the previous recess / unstructured break time with art, music, and gym called specials is unacceptable to us. Art, music, and gym are structured class time.

Currently children attending Oakwood and Westwood Elementary Schools are receiving only SEVEN RECESSES A WEEK! Totaling a recess / unstructured break time of approximately TWO HOURS A WEEK! Children in Portland receive a 15-17 minute lunch recess every day, and two additional recesses, on two different days of 20 minutes each.

Westwood Elementary children are not allowed to play when they arrive at school in the morning. They are required to form lines and wait until the bell rings to enter the school. A very high percentage of these children are bussed to and from school.

A high majority of Portland School Districts kids are bussed and endure nine plus hours a day, 45 hours a week in School, with only TWO hours weekly unstructured break time / recess. These children are in grade school. We want to know where the laws are to protect these childrens right to have recess / unstructured break time. Adults have Labor Laws, why not kids?

Think about the rate of obesity in children climbing higher, the increasing number of children being diagnosed as ADD/ADHD then being put on medication to be able to survive in rigid structured school environments. Research shows that children need consistent unstructured break times not only to re-focus on learning, but kids need to engage in social play which teaches them cooperation, helping, sharing, and develops problem solving skills. Kids also need to expel energy. Recess helps decrease the stress from academic pressures. Recess benefits kids emotionally, physically, and improves their overall health and well being. The benefits of eliminating / reducing recess only benefits budgets, and keeps schools within the mandated instructional time required. We feel our children are paying a huge price for adult management issues.

1.We are requesting that the before school (the time in which children are arriving on school property in the morning) recess / play time at Westwood Elementary School, in the Portland Public School District, be acted on immediately and be re-instated.

2.We are requesting that Portland Public School District Officials re-instate ALL the pre-existing recess time that has been eliminated in the Westwood & Oakwood Elementary Schools. This includes the implantation of re-instating the mid-morning AND mid-afternoon recess time.

3.Our request at the state level: to enact legislation for a proposal ballot that will require an implementation of ALL Michigan school districts that are funded through the State School Aid Act be REQUIRED to mandate a rigid daily / weekly minimum hour requirement of recess / unstructured play time for the children in these applicable school districts. Just as laws have been mandated for the minimum hours of pupil instruction.

We feel children have the right for a law that gives them consistent breaks throughout their school day, just as we as adults are entitled to. Labor Laws enforce employers to give employees required break times for hours worked. We feel schoolchildren deserve the same rights. Children in Portland deserve to have their recess time re-instated! Children across the nation deserve to keep their recesses, or have their recesses re-instated! Let kids be kids! Let them play.

If we as adults do not stand up and give our children a voice, recess will eventually be eliminated from schools!

If you support Rescuing Recess for kids in Portland as well as across the nationPlease sign this petition!

GIVE KIDS A BREAK! GIVE OUR KIDS RECESS BACK!

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Max PenningtonBy:
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Portland Public School District Officials, State Of Michigan School Officals, Michigan Legislators

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