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Recess Initiative

   Last school year, the Haysville School District started a new initiative adding more recesses for
   students in grades K-1. Each day, students will have four, 15-minute recesses after no more than 60
   minutes of instructional time. This is double the number of recesses we had provided in the past!

   The idea came about after district leadership attended a workshop about student development through
   daily, unstructured play. The next step consisted of a committee visiting a school district in Texas
   where a professor had developed her own program for unstructured play in schools. In the end, the
   district decided that they would develop their own program, utilizing the social-emotional curriculum

   already in place for K-5.

                                                    We believe that active students do better by having the
                                                    option to move, collaborate with friends, and reengage in

                                                    the classroom when they return. Unstructured play helps
                                                    students come up with their own games and use their
                                                    imagination. Also, even with the additional recesses,
                                                    instructional time in the classroom is uninterrupted.

                                                    Our schools have reported seeing higher engagement in
                                                    learning, fewer discipline issues, and overall success with
                                                    this program. This year, we added 2nd-grade students to
                                                    the initiative and plan to add a grade level each year. The

                                                    goal is to have all six of the district's elementary schools
                                                    fully implement our recess initiative by 2024. We are excited
                                                    to get kids moving!

            Recess had become more
        restrictive. Imaginary play is so
               crucial to a child's

                  - Jennifer Reed
             Assistant Superintendent of
                 Learning Services
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