‘School shouldn’t be this stressful’: Carmel parents request longer recess time at school

CARMEL, Ind. — Students at Carmel-Clay Schools only get 15 minutes of recess each day, so during Monday night’s school board meeting, parents asked for more recess time.

Every parent who spoke during public comment said they passionately believe the current schedule is not in the best interest of their kids.

“It’s causing him a lot of stress and anxiety in his school day,” said one mom.

Some parents are hoping for a change during next school year. Jennifer Witherbee said she’s been asking for at least 30 minutes of recess for several years. She moved to Carmel because of the strong academics, but she believes the district is failing on play time.

“Skills are learned at an early age, and we should be assisting that any way possible,” said Witherbee.

Last year, parents got the district to consider their request for double the recess—not 15 minutes but 30 minutes. Superintendent Michael Beresford said they are still looking at the schedules for elementary schools and secondary schools.

At the meeting, he said the schedules will stay the same next school year.

“School shouldn’t be this stressful this young,” said Terri Cribb, a parent. “So it’s not just one more year for our children. Every day makes a difference.”

Cribb believed her kids would do better in school with longer recess.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends 150 minutes of P.E. per week—an average of 30 minutes a day.

“I know my son needs the ability to take more breaks so he can focus,” said Cribb.

Some parents say they’ve been fighting for this for six years, and they don’t plan on quitting.

“This is one area I feel we are not hitting the mark, not even close,” said Witherbee.

We found more than five districts in Central Indiana where 15, 20 or 25 minutes a day is the standard and no more than 30 minutes.

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