A community meeting is taking place at Fulton Elementary School in Chandler to discuss giving kids a break—literally.
A group of concerned parents showed up, armed with flyers saying "Yes to recess." They are asking the district to give their students more time on the playground in between classes.
Right now students in grades third through sixth are getting one 20 minute break in a six-hour school day. But many parents feel that's not enough.
"Research has shown that when students have a break from this concentrated instruction and come back, they're able to retain information better, make better decisions, and we feel those minutes become quality instead of just quantity," said Jennifer Ray, a concerned mom with two children at Fulton Elementary School.
Parents were equally passionate on the other side of the fence. Principal Amy Kramb said she was hearing arguments from both sides. Other parents felt school was for studies, and students could play outside on their own time outside of school.
"They just don't want to give up those additional instruction minutes," Kramb said.
She added that in addition to the 20 minute break, students in grades third through sixth also had periodic "brain breaks" with fun activities inside the classroom.
Opponents feel that's not good enough, and it's crucial for students to be outside in an unstructured environment where they could learn about sharing, negotiating and other life skills.
District officials expect to hear arguments from both sides at an on site meeting tonight.
No decisions are expected to be made yet. Kramb said parents could expect to see a survey in the mail, asking them how they felt about this issue.
Complaints about recess policies at the Chandler school doesn't appear to be an isolated issue. A quick search on the Internet revealed that at least 178 similar petitions are circulation nationwide.
"We are open to change, " said Kramb.