Originally published March 5, 2018 by KBTX-TV3.

By Whitney Miller

A Madisonville CISD mother says she’s concerned about the lack of recess her children are getting at Madisonville Intermediate.

Monday night, Brooke Willis presented a petition with nearly 300 signatures to the school board, in hopes they will add daily recess to the district’s master schedule.

recess“We have a great school district. So, when I found out that we didn’t have recess, that was really my only concern,” Willis told News 3.

Willis says last year, her fourth grader told her he didn’t have recess every day.

“I just assumed that every kid had recess, I just assumed that it wasn’t an option,” she said.

She says at Madisonville Intermediate, students only get four days out of the month for recess. They alternate weekly between Physical Education classes and a 20-minute, free recess.

But Willis doesn’t think that’s enough. She created a petition online asking the district to implement daily recess.

“I think mentally and physically, they are getting out and getting the necessary break that they need,” said Willis. “That gives them a break from that testing that they sit through all day.”

“The district’s primary concern is always going to be the total development of our students, but our primary focus will always be the core academic areas,” said Smith.

Texas A&M Professor of Physical Education Ping Xiang says there is a difference between PE and Recess and both are critical for student development.

“It brings a lot of benefits to children, physically, psychologically, socially and cognitively,” said Xiang.

Xiang suggests students get at least 20 minutes of recess each day, in addition to PE, so they can get their recommended 60 minutes of activity a day. But she says it’s not solely up to the district to provide those minutes.

“It’s also parents that should get engaged,” said Xiang. “People who are interested in helping children develop and have active lifestyles should get involved.”

During the Willis’ presentation to the school board Monday no decision was made.

“We’re looking into creating a new schedule with the administration at the intermediate campus,” said Smith. “However, this decision will be made during the summer when we create the master schedule for next year.”

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