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Creating a safer recess at the Friends Girls School_English

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As a leading educational institution in the Palestinian community, the Friends School is known for its commitment to providing a safe and moral environment, supported by its Quaker principles.

As such, the below-signed parents request that the Friends Girls School consider implementing a staggered recess, monitored by teachers who can teach students learn to responsibly resolve any potential conflict through the School’s non-violent principles. 

All FGS students have recess at the same time. As a result, around 560 students aged 6-12 years old are on the playground at the same time. Teacher supervision is difficult, given so many students and the large, multi-level playground.

Parents of FGS students recognize that supervising the play of 560 children of different ages on a big playground is a difficult task. Furthermore, despite the best efforts of the teachers, FGS students have told their parents of problems arising from students of different ages playing together, such as teasing, bullying, fighting, and injuries. 

The below-signed parents respectfully propose that the Friends Girls School create staggered recesses for its students, with one recess time for the younger, smaller children (grades 1-3) and another recess time for the older children (grades 4-6). 

This approach to more effectively managing play time is increasingly common among Palestinian schools.  Other Palestinian private schools are adopting (or considering) separate recess times, including the Frere School in Bethlehem, the Evangelical School and An Najah School in Ramallah, and a private school in Beit Safafa.

 The goals of introducing a staggered recess would be: 

1. Creating a safe and well-monitored environment where students can play more appropriately and safely with children of their own age. 

2. Easing the supervisory burden of teachers by requiring them to watch over a smaller number of students  (if for example FGS limited play area to zones away from classrooms where teaching was ongoing, which would also address issues of noise).

3. Preventing inappropriate student behavior (such as bullying and teasing), which in turn reduces the staff time needed to follow up on incidents with parents and students.

The below-signed FGS parents are committed to supporting the Friends Girls School to provide a stimulating, safe learning environment based on Quaker principles.

By signing this petition, I am advocating that the Friends Girls School implements a staggered recess (as described above) for the 2011-2012 academic school year.

This petition will be given to the administration of the Friends School.


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