Don't Turn Recess Into A Multiple Choice Question

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Community Education has purchased a recess curriculum that will impact every elementary school student, in every school, every day. Concord Elementary is a pilot school.

Playworks is used by urban schools with limited green space, limited facilities, limited equipment, grave safety issues, and high poverty rates with success. Many of these schools have cut recess; Playworks is a way to bring it back. We have recess. We have green space, We have equipment. Playworks is the WRONG program for us. Playworks was brought in to solve a staffing solution - not as the best option for the kids.

Recess is the only scheduled 25 minutes in the school day for our kids to 'own' their independence. It is a time to test skills they already have and are still developing - how to play, how to deal with conflict, how to be inclusive - in a safe environment with adults offering intervention when necessary. With Playworks, the supervisors are trained to instruct, make rules, intervene early, make teams, teach the kids games many already know, and create a controlled, very intentional environment.

To enhance recess for every student at Concord Elementary we say:

  1. Remove the Playworks model from our school.
  2. Bring back the FULL 25 minutes of true free play.
  3. Bring back the use of ALL of our play spaces.
  4. Let additional staff engage in but not direct the play.
  5. Let the kids invent their own games.
  6. Together as a school, let us figure out ways to make Concord an inclusive atmosphere all day and at recess. Not by using a "Playworks Playbook" that isn't the right fit for our school and doesn't meet the needs of our school population.

We, the undersigned believe the new pilot recess curriculum Playworks is a bad fit for Concord Elementary School.

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