Recess Replacement?

WRMS Student and Staff Opinion on The times of Lunch and Passing Time.

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  • Arianna Heble and Macie Tangye pose for a picture during 2nd 7th grade lunch.

  • 7th grade students while enjoying their lunch time.

  • 7th grade 2nd lunch tables.

  • 7th grade students while going through the lunch time.

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Remember recess in elementary school? You could run around outside and forget all your cares and worries… those were the days. Unfortunately, in middle school, there’s no such thing as recess. Instead, we have passing time and the time after lunch where we sit outside and socialize. However, is 4 minutes every hour and a little time after lunch enough of a brain break for young minds?

WRMS students agreed that we need to have longer lunch and passing time. Elliot Vogel, 7th grade All Star student, said we should have longer passing time because, “Sometimes we have to stay in class longer and we don’t get as much time.” She said in her extra time she would use the bathroom. The school bathrooms usually have long lines, and everyone feels rushed and worried about getting to class on time. If we extended the amount of time we have it would take that stress away.

Vogel says that we need to add 2 extra minutes, while 8th grade SWAT student Logan Power said we need to add 7 minutes to the already standing 4 minutes. Power said he uses his passing time as a social period and he feels like 4 minutes isn’t enough. During passing time, kids have to go through the crowded halls and have to walk longer distances to their electives. This adds stress to students and they don’t get as many breaks throughout the day.

7th grade math teacher on the Voyager team, Miss. Henley said, “I liked during COVID when it was 2 teams passing at a time for 2 minutes. I felt like there were a lot less issues in the hallway and people got where they needed to be.” There are problems like pushing, shoving, rough-housing, and tardies.

Students now only get 20 minutes to go through the long lunch line, find somewhere to eat, finish eating and throw away their trash. Then you have to go outside and sit for the remaining minutes. But what if a shortened lunch time and passing time meant a shorter school day? If school ended earlier, Power said that he would enjoy getting out of school earlier and having more freetime. On the other hand Mrs. McDonald, Voyager ELA teacher, said, “Kids need passing time. And 15 minutes for lunch? Y’all barely get to eat in 20 minutes. So I don’t think that is enough time.”

The school board doesn’t have any plans to change these times, but as you can see there are many different opinions on the topic of free time at school. What is yours?