The Janesville Gazette reported last week that principals at some of the city’s public elementary school are attributing some major positive academic and behavioral trends to a relatively minor change: moving recess from after to before lunch.
I remember the post-lunch recess — chasing girls, pick-up football, the bloody nose I gave my best friend.
In fact, I remember school-day and school-year schedules being much the same as the ones my 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son experience at their Madison public elementary school — from the timing of recess, to summer vacation, to days off to honor such notables as Polish-born Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski (keep in mind this was the Chicago area, which has a large Polish population).
I suppose that could be because at some point decades ago, the public education establishment discovered the perfect academic schedule and, well, why tinker with something that works?
Janesville’s experience suggests something else, though: that post-lunch recess is just another public education tradition among a slew of public education traditions that could benefit from a fresh pair of eyes.