The new playground will soon be open, and much of it will be fully operational and ready for students to use February 22. With this new change comes a big question: will Morning Break for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders be brought back?
Before the playground went under construction, all middle school students had 20 minutes of break in between the first and second blocks of the day. For the last year and a half, only fifth graders have had that morning break. All other middle school students have had their first block class time extended.
Mr. Peter Lutkoski, the middle school principal, thought that were costs and benefits to bringing break back. Mr. Lutkoski mentioned that some of the costs would be 10 minutes less of class in first block, and students being late to their second class, because of students staying outside for too long. On the benefits side, Mr. Lutkoski also said that students could talk to their teachers during morning break, and students would have more time to run around outside.
Mr. Lutkoski has not yet decided if the pros outweigh the cons and if sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will get the their Morning Break back.
But do they understand how big the costs really are? A principal in Washington D.C followed some students around for two days and was astonished at how exhausting school was without breaks to run around. She said “I was drained, and not in a good, long, productive-day kind of way. No, it was that icky, lethargic tired feeling (Washington Post, October 24, 2014).
Students think differently about not having break but generally want it back. Dakota Kelner, a seventh grader, said “We’ll be able to run around, have a snack, and get ready for the next class.”
Some students think that having a longer break can help them in class. Dylan Petrillo, a sixth grader, said a break would “allow me to be more productive in class.”
Middle students mainly meet with teachers during lunch but with a morning break it could be another time in the day you could do this. Kate Black, an eighth grader, said that it was “important to have a longer break,” and it “allows more time to meet with teachers.”
Mr. Lutkoski will make a decision on Morning Break in the coming weeks.