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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas School Board member wants to make recess a requirement in the district’s elementary schools.

Dan Micciche represents District 3 and says the idea is simple. “The proposal is to require that each elementary school have recess on a daily basis.”

Micciche said he first began looking at recess and its effect on children after being approached by adults. “I spoke with a number of parents who were concerned that their children weren’t getting recess and need to have recess.”

The idea of young children having unstructured playtime is not only desired, Micciche says it’s crucial. “Both the anecdotal evidence from parents and teachers, and the academic research indicates that recess is absolutely necessary. It helps promote social, emotional and physical health, as well as academic learning.”

During the 11:30 a.m. school board briefing Micciche says he will bring, “A proposal to require that recess be held daily for children pre-K through 5th grade.” The topic of how long children should play will also be up for discussion. Micciche said, “The academic studies seem to indicate that the right amount of time is about 20 minutes, although it may vary from grade-level to grade-level.”

Micciche says there will be a presentation at today’s meeting at DISD headquarters, located at 3700 Ross Avenue, but trustees will make no official decision. “We would not have a vote on this earlier than the 4th Thursday in January. We will be discussing it in December… and then in early January again before it actually comes up for a vote.”

While Micciche says he knows elementary school students and teachers are very busy, he doesn’t believe concerns about learning time and test preparation are valid against having recess. If the policy is put in place he also wants to make sure that the revocation of recess time isn’t used as a student punishment.

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