Playworks Update

Office of Teaching and Learning 3.12.2014

Importance of Recess!

Just as physical education and physical fitness have well-recognized benefits for personal and academic performance, recess offers its own, unique benefits. Recess represents an essential, planned respite from rigorous cognitive tasks. It affords a time to rest, play, imagine, think, move, and socialize. After recess, for children or after a corresponding break time for adolescents, students are more attentive and better able to perform cognitively. In addition, recess helps young children to develop social skills that are otherwise not acquired in the more structured classroom environment

  • American Academy of Pediatrics

Supervision Reminders

When staffing and organizing the recess program, leaders must remember to adhere to the following:

  • Number 1 priority is proper supervision which means maintaining at least a 1 adult to 50 student ratio outside.
  • Supervision should always include 1 certified staff member and enough staff to supervise each of the recess zones (this usually requires 4 additional non-certified staff members).
  • Once all zones have proper supervision participation in Game of the Week activities by staff should occur.
  • If due to illness, staff are reduced for a day, please adjust number of zones open for activity/play.

No Subsitutes!

On days of extreme illness, when proper coverage of recess can not occur, principals and Playworks leaders should work together to determine if daily teacher collaboration needs to be cancelled in order to ensure proper outdoor coverage.

Duty Time

All staff are entitled to a 30 minute duty free lunch. It has been brought to our attention that quite staff assigned to outdoor duty are only receiving 25 minutes of lunch in order to get outside on time. Leaders may have to adjust staff schedules in order for them to leave their regularly assigned post early in order to get their entitled lunch break before heading outside. Contact me if you have questions as to how this can occur.

Indoor Recess

Playworks leaders and principals should work together to plan indoor recess activities for all students. Non-certified staff are not responsible for planning indoor activities. Principals may use their D0 account to provide substitutes for Playworks Team members to design indoor activities to be used during extreme weather days.

Playworks Team Meeting

  • Please schedule a Playworks meeting with all staff involved in the mid-day recess supervision within the next two weeks to ensure spring plans are in place.
  • Staff will be paid for afterschool participation.
  • Principals should send me a copy of the meeting minutes and notes after the meeting has occurred.


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