Some parents concerned about recess time for Metro students - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Some parents concerned about recess time for Metro students

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Hara Hackett spends several hours a week outside riding bikes and walking dogs with her 11-year-old daughter Sophia.

They are valuable hours of free time she says her daughter doesn't get in school.

"Just being outside and getting in the sun and getting fresh air. I don't know many people who think that they don't feel better after doing something like that," Hackett said.

Metro school board member Amy Frogge says there are several academic and behavioral benefits to having free time in the school day, but she says it's not happening in all Metro schools.

She asked school leaders to conduct an audit into how much time each school was dedicating for recess.

"There should be a minimum amount of time," Hackett said.

Metro school officials say while they don't have a standard for regulating how much free time students receive, they do comply with state laws, which say students should get 90 minutes of physical activity per week, which can include curriculum and staying indoors.

School principals decide how much actually recess can fit into the schedule.

"Traditionally, recess is kind of free play outside on the playground. We have schools that do that and we have schools that don't," said MNPS spokesperson Joe Bass.

Frogge said recess time should be applied evenly across the district. She wants school officials to consider research that could help determine how much recess is appropriate for certain age groups.

She says, ultimately, there seems to be too much focus placed solely on testing when there is ample research that shows recess can boost student achievement and decrease behavioral problems in the classroom.

Metro School officials say the results of the audit will be helpful.

"It will help us determine which schools are doing a good job and which schools may be lacking. And how we can do some best practices going forward," Bass said.

Bass could not say when the audit will be complete.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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