Give reduced recess a chance

Hearing that your child is going to spend less time outdoors at recess is not welcome news.

The community of Marshalltown made that point clear at this week’s school board meeting.

However, we think parents and community members should look at the merits of increased instructional time.

The school district’s elementary buildings currently trail the state average of instructional time by 1,300 minutes a year. This new schedule will bring that discrepancy down to zero with hopes to increase student achievement.

We think the school district was right to address the problem of instructional time.

Meanwhile, the district plans to increase physical education class time to make up for the recess cuts. This means students will keep the same level of physical activity in most elementary schools.

As our nation continues to fight a battle against obesity and unhealthful lifestyles it definitely raises an eyebrow to hear that recess time will be cut. However, we think the school district found the best possible solution to addressing learning time.

One of the best things that came from the controversy is parental engagement in schools. Oftentimes it takes a hot button issue to get the attention of parents. But the fact remains that the school district is making decision about the education of our children every single day.

The decision to increase instructional time was not made without thorough research.

We hope attendance and correspondence with the school board remains important to parents.

After all, these elected officials are responsible for many decisions that impact the education of our children.

Should the decision to reduce recess prove to be a poor a decision for students and teachers, they will surely be willing to listen to community feedback.