Elementary Recess Review

The York County School Division is in the process of reviewing options for extending recess time during the elementary school day. The division's current expectation is that grades K-5 provide a minimum of 20 minutes of daily recess. While some YCSD elementary schools exceed that current minimum expectation, a new state law in effect as of July 1, 2018 provides the division with an opportunity to restructure both the amount of time and the schedule for daily recess in grades K-5.

In accordance with the division's Strategic Plan goal to foster effective partnerships with families and our communities, school and division administrators established a plan to work collaboratively with staff and parents through an Elementary Recess Committee.

The committee includes two representatives from each elementary school, one parent and one employee, and was established based on the criteria of providing objective representation of our diverse school community. The committee's purpose is to gather information from parents and teachers and to review options for adjusting recess times in order to provide a recommendation to the division.

The agenda for the first committee meeting included:

  • the committee's purpose
  • recess research
  • YCSD recess work from May-August
  • legislation overview
  • YCSD elementary schedule
  • survey and feedback review
  • next steps

To ensure parents and teachers have the opportunity to provide feedback on this topic, all elementary parents and teachers will be invited to participate in a brief survey. The survey will be shared directly to each parent's email address before the end of August. The survey will close in early September for the results to be reviewed by the committee at its September meeting.

UPDATE: September 20, 2018

The recess committee has begun reviewing the survey results to develop a recommendation to school division staff. More than 3,300 respondents provided feedback for their review. The survey results, including all open-ended comments, have been compiled into one report which is available in the link below. Additionally, a presentation on the recess committee was provided to the School Board during a special meeting on Monday, September 17. A link to that video is also provided below.

UPDATE: October 9, 2018

The recess committee met again on October 5 to continue the review of parent and teacher survey result and begin the initial stages of a decision analysis to establish criteria for the committee's recommendation to the superintendent. Once the recommendation is received, a superintendent's regulation will be developed to assist schools with implementing the division's expectations no later than the end of the second quarter, if not sooner. The School Board received an update on the committee's work, including the committee's meeting agenda, at the October 8 work session. A link to the video of that meeting and a copy of the presentation are provided below.

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