Over 6,200 people have signed a petition launched by parents calling for 20 minutes of daily recess for elementary and pre-K students in Miami-Dade schools.
The Miami Herald reports that Florida does not have a state law requiring recess. “The Miami-Dade school district, the fourth-largest in the country, however, stresses that it already mandates recess at least twice a week,” the Herald reports.
School district officials say they leave it up to teachers and principals to follow the recess policy, and that any changes to the rules will have to take into account the variety of school buildings and academic programs throughout the county’s more than 200 elementary and K-8 schools.
Alice Quarles, the principal at North Beach Elementary in Miami Beach, said they simply don’t have the space for everyone to have recess every day. Classes have to be staggered to make sure there’s enough room for safe play.
“I think you have to look at your resources, what you have, and maximize that for your children,” she said.
When the district passed its current recess policy, an internal survey of principals and teachers found that more than a quarter of respondents said scheduling recess into the school day would be difficult.