Dallas ISD to Decide Soon on Mandatory Recess

Parents are asking for at least 20 minutes of mandatory break time for their elementary school kids

The push for mandatory recess in the Dallas Independent School District will soon be decided.

For two months a group of Dallas parents has been pushing the school board to vote on mandatory recess for all students in elementary school.

Currently, the amount of recess that Dallas ISD students get varies from school to school, but parents and some Dallas ISD trustees want recess of at least 20 minutes to be mandatory.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said there's a lot of support for the policy but the problem lies in getting the details worked out.

"The devil is in the details," said Hinojosa. "How much, how often and how long?"

Parents say recess is a major part of a child's learning development, but over the years the break time has slowly been disappearing as teachers focus more on meeting new testing standards.

"We don't even mandate a certain amount of time for math, but math is very important and so is recess," said Hinojosa.

The recess proposal is in its final phases. Hinojosa said he's looking into a plan that works for all.

"We're making sure we don't plan it right after lunch so that it's a meaningful break from what they're doing and it need to be unstructured," he said.

A broad briefing is planned for Thursday with a final vote on Jan. 28.

"I think we are coming up with a good compromise that the principals can work into their schedules," the superintendent said.

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