Parents push for recess


Madisonville Elementary and Intermediate parent Brook Willis spoke to the MCISD school board on Monday on behalf of parents in the district advocating for daily recess at the Intermediate school.

Willis, who began a group on Facebook entitled “Give Recess Back To Madisonville Intermediate”, passed out binders to the board containing various statistics that supported the greater presence of recess in schools. She also cited many of these studies in her presentation.

She also included in her speech a statement from Madisonville Intermediate Principle Tawnya Nail, who she met with prior to the board meeting.

“Our campus needs assessment indicated a few years ago that additional academic support was needed to ensure academic success for all of our students. We put in place an intervention program to address these needs.”

Willis also shared details of a meeting she had with Superintendent Keith Smith, in which he stated that standardized test scores would need to be evaluated before a decision could be made to incorporate daily recess.

“Not only can this be done, but it should be done,” Willis told the board. “The benefits of daily, unstructured recess are proven. I know the school board represents what the community wants, and we would like daily recess.”

The binder’s information included studies and articles explaining how kids do not benefit from more time in the classroom and how recess can be a critical part in the cognitive growth of a student. She also included examples of schools that have both recess and academic intervention.

“We love recess,” Superintendent Smith said after the presentation. “The state has never shut a school down for lack of recess, but they’re in the process of shutting many schools down for lack of academic achievement. We understand, but our number one priority will always be the academic side."

Smith also stated that they will look into the issue more when they receive the relevant test results in the spring.

In other business, the board:

approved Texas Education Agency 2018-19 instructional materials allotment and TEKS certification;

approved TASB policy update 110; and

approved a memorandum of understanding with Madison County and the City of Madisonville regarding juvenile transportation.