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Recess Coming To Polk Schools

Robin Sussingham
Parents At Community Meeting In Lakeland

The Polk County School Board has given the nod to a "recess" requirement for the county's public elementary schools during their work session on Tuesday.

Parents in Polk have been pushing for mandatory recess since the start of the school year, with an online petition that garnered thousands of signatures. Polk Schools Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy held a public meeting in October, when she expressed support for the idea of a recess policy. She directed a county-wide committee on the issue to come up with a plan, which she then presented to the school board.

Polk's policy includes a minimum of 10 minutes and maximum of 20 minutes of daily recess for students in kindergarten through second grade; and a minimum of 50 minutes and a maximum of 80 minutes of recess per week for students in third through fifth grade. It's expected to go into effect next school year.

Time for recess has been squeezed out in recent years as state mandates have ballooned. Parents in several districts around the state have been rallying to bring back the school-day breaks.

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