Yakima Schools Cutting Back On Recess Times

For many young students, recess is something to look forward to at school.

However, some Yakima students may not have any recess to look forward to in the future.

Some schools are cutting back on recess time -- Roosevelt Elementary was recently listed as a priority school with low test scores, and plans on slashing students hour-long lunch in half.

"Our scores have been dropping down, we are a priority school," said Roosevelt Principal Dan Williams, "We need to get that time back, we've got them here from 8:45 to 3:15, we need to use that time wisely."

The move is aimed at giving students more time with their teachers, in the hopes that test scores will improve -- one parent, who asked to remain anonymous, disagrees with the move.

"They need to be able to run and play and burn some energy, and have time out from all work," said the parent.

In total, about 2.5 hours of will be cut a week.

Health officials say that lack of exercise could affect the student's education.

"Children are more alert, they're able to memorize a lot more," said Memorial Community Health Coordinator Kate Sansom, "A lot of children experience ADHD, physical activity helps their concentration throughout the day."

Williams says the school is already working out other ways to keep students active; having students take more P.E. classes a week, or giving teachers the freedom to create their own active learning environment, however, the first priority will be education.

"We're fighting a pretty tough game, I need to use every minute here the best I can," said Williams.

Nob Hill Elementary is also reducing their lunch and recess block by about 15 minutes -- other elementaries have yet to make a decision.

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