Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmatic & Recess? Frisco Pilots ‘Brain Break' Program

As more emphasis is placed on standardized testing, recess seems to pay the price.

But more and more parents are pushing back against the trend, calling on schools to give children more time to play.

This year, Frisco Independent School District is exploring the idea.

Five elementary schools are participating in a recess pilot program that allows schools to devote more time to physical activities.

The 'brain breaks' are in addition to 30-minute recess times.

Students at Norris, Borchardt, Fisher, McSpedden and Pink Elementary Schools are given up to 20 extra minutes to let loose separate from their normal recess.

Games like Jenga, Chess, Checkers and more physical activities give students a chance to burn off extra energy so they can focus when they return to class.

“It makes my stress go away,” said 7-year-old Tripp Snyder.

Snyder’s teacher Megan Reynolds says she’s already noticing a difference.

“The difference between this year and last year, my students are ready to go. They’re sitting in their desks, they're ready to learn they're ready to read, they're ready to do their math,” Reynolds said.

Frisco mom Angela Dunford began pushing for the program last school year.

“It really exploded a lot faster than I expected. There are just a lot of people that realize that this is a very real need for their kids,” Dunford said.

Her three boys don’t attend the schools participating in the program but hopes to see the it expand next year.

The goal, the district says, is to make students more well-rounded by exposing them to social and emotional learning, skills that may be taught best outside the classroom.

The district will evaluate the success of the program at the end of the school year and decide whether to expand to more of its 42 elementary schools. 

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