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School Scraps Plan to Cancel Recess

School wavers on plan to cancel recess due to snow gear

Every parent knows how painstaking it can be to get the little ones into and out of their snow gear.  The hats, the mittens, the snow pants and coat can make many feel like they’re smack dab in the middle of a rinse, wash, and repeat cycle. 

One Toronto elementary school was ready to cancel morning and afternoon recess for this very reason.  Davisville Public School sent home a letter to parents on Friday announcing that on Monday recess would move to the beginning of the day at 8:45a.m. and then an extra 15 minutes would be added on to the lunch hour. 

One mother tells the Toronto Star that teachers were complaining that getting the kids in and out of their gear was taking up to 40 minutes away from instructional time. 

The school has since backed off this plan, which would have cancelled the current recess times for the entire year, not just the winter months. 

Instead the issue will come up for further discussion during a parent council meeting in January. 

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  1. Paula posted on 12/17/2013 07:57 AM
    Here is what the Ontario Education Act says.

    3. (1) The length of the instructional program of each school day for pupils of compulsory school age shall be not less than five hours a day excluding recesses or scheduled intervals between classes. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (1).

    (2) The instructional program on a school day shall begin not earlier than 8 a.m. and end not later than 5 p.m. except with the approval of the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (2).

    (3) Despite subsection (1), a board may reduce the length of the instructional program on each school day to less than five hours a day for an exceptional pupil in a special education program. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (3).

    (4) Every board may establish the length of the instructional program on each school day for pupils in junior kindergarten and kindergarten. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (4).

    (5) Each pupil and each teacher shall have a scheduled interval for a lunch break. O. Reg. 492/01, s. 1.

    (5.1) A pupil’s interval for a lunch break shall be not less than forty consecutive minutes and need not coincide with the scheduled interval for the lunch break of any other pupil or any teacher. O. Reg. 492/01, s. 1.

    (5.2) A teacher’s interval for a lunch break shall be not less than forty consecutive minutes and need not coincide with the scheduled interval for the lunch break of any other teacher or any pupil. O. Reg. 492/01, s. 1.

    (6) In the intermediate division and the senior division, a principal may, subject to the approval of the board, provide for recesses or intervals for pupils between periods. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (6).

    (7) Every board shall determine the period of time during each school day when its school buildings and playgrounds shall be open to its pupils, but in every case the buildings and the playgrounds shall be open to pupils during the period beginning fifteen minutes before classes begin for the day and ending fifteen minutes after classes end for the day. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (7).

    (8) There shall be a morning recess and an afternoon recess, each of which shall be not less than ten minutes and not more than fifteen minutes in length, for pupils in the primary and junior divisions. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298, s. 3 (8).

    Opening or Closing Exercises
  2. john posted on 12/17/2013 10:43 AM
    yet more reason why teachers are teaching our kids to be a bunch of pussy s . i cant bleave thay would even think of a stupid ideal is that . this is going on in the USA as well schools down there are making kids sit on benches . thay cant play tag or doge ball . basket ball or aneything just sit on the benches . till it is time to go in for classes .
  3. Walter posted on 12/17/2013 12:07 PM
    I assume this applies for those in Kindergarten and not the higher grades. If they are not able to dress themselves to go outside, then obviously those children should not be going to full-day school.

    The simple solution: Kindergarten is half day, with recess at the beginning and/or end. Grade 1 and up can get dressed fast enough to have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon recess.
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