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Afternoon Recess Eliminated at Hearst, Lydiksen, Mohr and Fairlands for Grades 1 through 3 Staggered Reading

Original post made by Staggered Reading Chaos on Sep 25, 2012

Grades 1st, 2nd and 3rd used to have a morning and an afternoon recess.

Most schools still have a morning and afternoon recess. Under Staggered Reading, Early and Late Start students at Donlon, Vintage Hills, Walnut Grove, and Alisal still have both a morning and an afternoon recess.

But at Hearst, Lydiksen, Mohr, and Fairlands for Early Start students, the afternoon recess has been completely eliminated for the small children!!!

How can the schools expect 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to spend almost 6 hours in school with only a 10 minute morning recess?

Also, for those schools with the afternoon recess taken away, when in the world are these children supposed to able to go to the bathroom?

Also at Valley View for 3rd graders in Early and Late Start, there is no afternoon recess.

Did the administration give any thought to how the well being of children would be affected by eliminating the afternoon recess?

Wasn't there any coordination from the administration and do any of them have experience in the education of early years elementary children? Did the Wellness Committee or the School Board vote to eliminate afternoon recesses for these schools?





Comments (31)

Posted by yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I've noticed that at our school. I think half the kids have a few more minutes at school than the others, which is why they have the extra recess. They are allowed to run around and play before / after lunch, so they have that recess too.

I'm a bit concerned about the program though. I thought the benefit of the shorter day was that children were going to spend the 45 minutes as quality time with the teacher learning at their assessed level. This doesn't seem to be happening in practice - all the levels are together, so they don't get this quality time and so far I haven't heard of the kids being taught to their assessed level yet, which I thought was the point.

Maybe it will get better as the classes get more established?


Posted by Jill, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Sep 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm

None of the students spends six hours in school with only a 10-minute break. They still have lunch and the associated lunch recess time. Also, the afternoon recess used to happen about the same time that the early start kids are now being dismissed. The late start students do get a break then.

That said, like "yep," I don't think the leveled instruction is happening. But we're still only a month into the school year, and I trust that the teachers are using the time in a way that they see is best for their students and the material that they need to cover


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

For Early Start, Donlon, Vintage Hills, Walnut Grove, and Alisal have retained the afternoon recess, and students are dismissed around 2:05 (which is close to the schedule that was put in the backpack notice at the end of the school year).

Mohr and Fairlands and Hearst have eliminated the afternoon recess for Early Start students in Grades 1, 2 and 3 and each school dismisses at 1:55 (start is at 8:15). Early Start students are in school for 5 hours and 40 minutes (without an afternoon recess), but Late Start students are in school for 5 hours and 50 minutes, ten minutes longer (with an afternoon recess).

The FAQs never mentioned that Late Start students would have a longer school day, but that Early Start students would have a shorter school day and afternoon recess would be eliminated for selected schools. Again, why was this not communicated in the FAQs?????

Lydiksen has eliminated the afternoon recess for Early Start students in Grades 1, 2, and 3 and dismisses at 2:00 (start is at 8:20).



Posted by Look to unions, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Staggered, "Did the administration giva any thought to how the well being of the children would be affected"...You must be kidding. The 'system' of administration adapting to 'fit' union constraints. Apparently total minutes in a day are more important than happy, stimulated minds. Most questions can be answered if you never forget, it is not about the children. It's union bosses 'fighting for their members'. Of course that is twisted because all would be happier, if they would do what is best for the children, like in past decades.


Posted by Jordy, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 26, 2012 at 8:51 am

For the sake of accuracy, Vintage Hills dismissal is at 1:55pm for early start students as opposed to 2:05. Afternoon recess starts at 1:55pm so instead of having recess be the last thing these students did before they were dismissed, they are simply being dismissed 10 min earlier. I'm sure this is the case with all other schools that purportedly have their recess eliminated. The late starts obviously still get this recess. This clearly doesn't address the greater concerns but in terms of how recess fits into the current schedule, it really isn't that big a deal. The overall picture is of course a huge deal and a major problem.


Posted by wronsutton, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

Not good for "bodies and brains. "


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

This program is a complete atrocity - the only ones suffering are the students. Shame on the entire administration, SHAME ON THEM! Continue posting your comments here, so hopefully next semester they will revert to the normal schedule for the children.


Posted by It's ok, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:49 am

I grew up doing staggered reading in the 80's. I'm totally ok. I even went to college! I'm sure the teachers will be grouping the kids soon. Enjoy the extra time with your kids. Before we know it they will be in Middle School.


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

Because the school day is 10 minutes shorter Early Start students at Mohr, Hearst, Lydiksen and Hearst, this means that they have 1,440 less minutes in school than other Pleasanton students. 1,440 less minutes in the school day is 24 hours less hours in school for the entire school year. Because this means they are missing recess, this deprives them of not only physical activity and social development, but in the long run, means over three years they will miss out on 4,320 minute of school time or 72 hours.

The Vintage Hills Bell Schedule says dismissal is 2:05 for Early Start, not 1:55. Both recesses are retained. Here is the Bell Schedule showing the two recesses- Web Link For M, T, Th and F, both recesses are retained for Early and Late Start students.


Posted by Jordy, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:41 am

VH dismisses at 1:55pm I can assure you of this


Posted by Francesca Zavacky, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that all elementary school students be provided with at least one 20-minute recess period each day. To access the position statement Recess for Elementary School Students, go to Web Link


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

The school district already does not comply with state law requiring 200 minutes of PE every 10 days. It only provides 180 minutes of PE every 10 days.

Providing young students a recess period allowing them the opportunity to burn off their energy will make them better, more focused, more attentive, students during the course of the school day. This, of course, results in a more calm classroom, where students are paying attention, which translates to learning.

And now Pleasanton has unilaterally with no discussion decided to withhold PM recess for some students???

Children have more energy than us adults, and need that activity even more than we do. It energizes them, helps their circulation and is good for them mentally. Deeper consideration, however, shows that school recess is a vital part of a student's day, especially for younger students, as well as offering its own lessons. Although not part of the three Rs, children playing together during recess learn about communication, sharing, and cooperation.

Maybe the Pleasanton school administrators that eliminated recess without telling anyone never learned the skills of communication, sharing and cooperation.



Posted by yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:29 am

Oh for goodness sake. Join a soccer team, play outside, walk home from school. Surely you can exercise your child. What a nanny state and nanny expectations. It is a school - if you have academic concerns, I get it. But adding up recess minutes when they are at the end of the day is just going too far.


Posted by on a different note, a resident of Ponderosa
on Sep 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

A lot of parents don't worry to much about their kids missing school hours when they choose to go on vacation during the school week, instead of going during the holidays. Have you ever counted those hours?


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

According to the New York Times Web Link :

"There is strong evidence that school-based physical activity improves children's cognitive skills, concentration and behavior, possibly by influencing their brain's physiology. At the same time, studies of "social and emotional learning" programs indicate that students do better socially and academically when they learn how to understand their emotions, empathize with others, and make good decisions. Both of these processes are very much at work when children are playing well with others — which is why recess is a uniquely valuable resource — if it is well-run."

I guess that the newly Supt prescribes the the Charles Dickens "Hard Times" Thomas Gradgrind, who had no use for play or any sort of imaginative pursuit, approach and theory of childhood education discussed in the NY Times article.


Posted by A PUSD Teacher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

What's funny about this whole thing is that we haven't heard one complaint at our school about our morning students going home at 1:55. Don't get me wrong, we've heard plenty of other complaints about the staggered, but nothing about the morning kids missing recess. The parents at our school were okay with them leaving at 1:55. Missing this 10 minutes is not going to be detrimental to your child's athletic ability, health or focus. As mentioned above there are many other options to provide your child like taking a walk, going to a park, riding a bike, jump roping, joining a sports team, ...... the list goes on and on. What needs to happen now is parents getting over it. It's done. Move on. Staggered reading is here and it's here to stay for the year. Let's get rid of the negative and focus on the positive. To the person who mentioned that they are not seeing the benefit of the staggered time and doesn't believe teachers are using it correctly is mistaken. I love that 45 minutes of my day. My room is quiet, my students are working on literacy activities and I am reading, reading, reading with my students. The students are are focused and happy and learning from each other. It's the best situation possible. Give teachers a chance. Support education instead of being negative about it. Hey, maybe next time pass a parcel tax!


Posted by Union stimulates brain, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

The collective opinion of us brothers and sisters in the educating collective is that staggering has been a huge success and is expanding the brain power of our kids. Okay, so you parents are staggered by the disruption to your life, and kids are staggered by the chaotic implementation of this new reading program. But you parents are not educators, so we say what do you fools know anyway? Like nothing. Get a credential and then we'll listen to you.


Posted by Yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I was with you until the sarcastic comment re. a parcel tax. Voted yes for the last one, but I do not like the gun to the head approach regarding prop 30 or what is happening in elementary here. At leat prop 38 is a serious approach to helping schools and I will vote for that.

Staggered reading has no/ small cost advantage / implications so it can be turned around next year if it doesn't work out this year with or without a parcel tax. But as you say, let's give it an honest try and see how it goes. I don't like how people are connecting that with a parcel tax though, and when people do say things like this I almost wonder if the powers that be are making things as bad as possible so they get the vote they want.

CSR is another story, but I doubt a parcel tax can save it in real life given what I have seen in the past. If it can, I will vote for it.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

There's the solution. Get a credential. The test is really easy and California doesn't even require you to pass the math portion of it. Then the troll above will listen to you.


Posted by FedUp, a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Once again, in America, they are going for 'Work harder, not smarter'...


Posted by Yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

How about work harder and smarter and become competitive again.


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

The Fremont Unified School District had Staggered Reading even when class sizes were 20 so it had nothing to do with class size whatsoever, but did not reduce instructional minutes. Given the Fremont situation, I think the new Supt in Pleasanton that was hired from Fremont planned to slam it into Pleasanton anyway, irregardless of class size.

Even the date it started in Pleasanton matches Fremont's newsletters Web Link

I agree with Stacey and believe the person claiming to be a PUSD teacher is a troll or one of the district administrators.

It is clear that Staggered Reading in Fremont was implemented even when class sizes of 20 students from many materials on the web (e.g. "My nine year old, had staggered reading this last year in 3rd grade in a class of 20-1. In both instances I thought that staggered reading in third grade was not necessary)", it looks like it was voted on by the union as far as contracts. But it looks like it may have been dropped in some schools around 2001 because it conflicted with the district's equity goals. Web Link

However, Fremont even with Staggered Reading had the same number of instructional minutes (300 minutes) for Grades 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 and did not slash instructional minutes for Grades 1 through 3 like the new Supt has.


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:19 am

Regarding Staggered Reading, I don't understand why Pleasanton is implementing a 1970's era program that comes from the early 1970s. Staggered Reading in Fremont is so old it goes back to the early 1970's, back when there were few two income households having to manage childcare. The Argus is a newspaper for Fremont, Union City and Newark.

See the Sept 3, 1971 The Argus Web Link regarding Staggered Reading in Fremont

and

See the Oct 25, 1977 The Argus Web Link regarding Staggered Reading in Fremont


Posted by Erin, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

I have worked in the classroom during the new staggered start. The 15 kids are broken into 3 groups and each group takes turns reading with me OR the teacher. So in the end each child probably reads a few pages out loud. I just don't see the benefit outweighing the cost. Every family has struggled to accommodate the new schedule. Sacrificing work time, family time (I don't get to take my 2nd grader to school anymore) and causing unnecessary stress. In addition, the sense of community is greatly diminished at the school with people coming and going at all times. I really hope the district considers all these factors going forward.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Don't underestimate the power of reading a few pages out loud from a text that is at or above your reading level. Try it as an adult with a foreign language you are trying to learn.


Posted by Not from Pleasanton, a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:26 am

After reading these comments, I nominate the folks in Pleasanton for the state "Top Whiner" and "All Talk and No Action" awards. So much blithering. The chatter here is more inane than the school gossip among parents at a soccer practice.


Posted by Staggered Reading Chaos, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:28 am

Interesting, according to the State, the school district is breaking the law. Soccer practice gossip? Hardly.

The State indicates that to have unequal school days and offer one program for Early Start and another program for Late Start, each with a different amount of minutes in each (at some schools), that the PUSD had to get approval from the State Board of Education after applying for a Waiver.

PUSD has not even applied for a Waiver.

The District is in violation of Education Code Section 37202.


Posted by Spudly, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I am 50 and I need afternoon recess. What a joke. I am sorry little ones.


Posted by Test Scores will tell, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Test scores going down. You hear the word differentiation from PUSD a lot. Never once saw it happen - unless making my child teacher herself math counts as differentiation.


Posted by yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

You are so right. Teachering herself math must have been extremely difficulter.


Posted by Yep, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Love how you all like to steal names. I guess you feel insecure. Given the time of night you all show up though . . . I have to ask, are you outsourced? Do you earn a living wage?


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