The suggested policy maintains existing language that states the board "allows a 15-minute unstructured break for students in kindergarten and grades one through five on school days when a physical education class is not scheduled. Unstructured breaks are not permitted for students in grades six through eight."
The board approved the first reading of the changes when it met Monday but indicated that more work would be done to tweak the language before a final vote takes place at a later meeting.
Board members plan to discuss in more detail possible changes to the existing policy’s prohibition on sixth- through eighth-grade recess. Officials said the middle school exclusion is a holdover related to state requirements. The board could consider removing it from APS policy to give the district more “autonomy and flexibility,” said Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, during Monday’s meeting.
Atlanta's policy has been a topic of conversation for more than a year, since recess advocates -- including a second-grader at Parkside Elementary School -- asked the board to expand recess.
Earlier this year, a legislative effort to mandate recess in Georgia schools failed.