First Year of Recess Partial Success


At the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, FCPS instituted recess for the first time in middle school. Middle school can be a challenging and stressful couple of years for students, with harder classes and additional pressure to do well. A simple solution, such as recess, can help lighten the load. According to the CDC, recess is not only a much-needed break in the day, but it also provides many benefits for students’ physical, emotional, and cognitive development.

In general, recess has been known to have many benefits to the well-being of students. Per the CDC, it can help by increasing a student’s attention span, memory, and level of concentration. This is very important to a student’s performance. If they can’t focus well, they are easily distracted from the task at hand. They won’t get as much done in the allotted time, resulting in more homework and lower quality of work.

According to one of the CDC’s articles about recess, some activities have more benefits than others. Socializing is one of these. Throughout the school day, social interactions are very important. They make the day more enjoyable and can also decrease stress. This is because students can chat with their peers, talking about fun things as well as school work they might need help with. This article also mentions how physical activity is highly beneficial as well. This is because it is a great distraction from schoolwork. Fresh air also helps clear the brain and is very good for mental health.

Recess gives a chance for students to run around and play, which improves their physical health. The CDC suggests that recess increases the amount of physical activity students get. Studies have also found that recess can help students develop social skills, such as learning how to share and negotiate.

Despite these benefits, some schools have gotten rid of it due to a focus on academic outcomes. However, parents, teachers, and even students have fought to get more time for recess. Having a long recess gives students time to engage in creative play, practice life skills, and participate in physical activity.

To prevent bad experiences during recess, schools can have organized recess where students are supported and encouraged to engage only in activities that promote respect and prevent bullying. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that middle school students have at least 20 minutes of recess daily.

 “I love recess,” said Nikitha R., a 7th grader at Longfellow Middle School. “We get a nice break and we don’t have to do schoolwork.” During recess, Nikitha tends to stay in and chat with her friends.

However, some students don’t like it.

 “Recess is a waste of time,” said Andy W., a 7th grader at Longfellow Middle School. “Just add more Lancer Time.” 

Andy went on to explain that if we had an extended Lancer Time with no recess, we would be more productive. Even though you could stay inside to work on homework during recess, it is less focused because it is broken up. 

Students can participate in several activities during recess, such as soccer, football, throwing frisbees, and doing homework inside. Recess is beneficial for many reasons, including increasing focus and getting fresh air. Based mainly on research, with a little opinion from a few students, recess is a much-needed break in the middle of the day.