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December 13, 2016

Upper Dublin School District disputes alarming news report on 'eliminating recess'

Officials with the Upper Dublin School District are upset about a local news station's portrayal of their internal debate over whether to restructure lunch and recess time at their four elementary schools.

Responding to a segment that aired Monday night on NBC10, the district released a statement on Facebook Tuesday claiming the report "inaccurately" implied Upper Dublin schools might cut recess time from the school day.

During the news segment, NBC10's Keith Jones spoke to multiple parents who opposed the idea of limiting recess time on grounds that it's vital to the social, cognitive and physical development of school-age children. Jones even interviewed District Superintendant Deborah Wheeler, who emphatically denied that discussions about scheduling had even advanced to the point of concrete recommendations for the board.

The school district said the only options under consideration would involve shifting from multiple recess periods to one extended lunch and recess period.

One topic is how we allocate time at our elementary schools, and the pros and cons of aligning all four schools with a schedule that provides one large block of time for lunch and recess instead of two smaller recess blocks.

This action, if approved, would not mean less recess; it would provide a longer single recess period – with no less total recess minutes [than] what our students currently enjoy.

The statement goes on to call the news segment "unfortunate," adding that the district does not anticipate these recess discussions coming to an end any time in the immediate future.