Patchogue-Medford School District doubles recess time

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Mallory Hoff has more from Suffolk County.

A longer recess is what some educators believe may be the key to what they're calling "whole child development."

"Based on research our kids are more anxious more depressed, and a large part of that is they have lost the ability to collaborate to work with other kids," said Dr. Michael J. Hynes, Patchogue-Medford School District Superintendent.

Superintendent Hynes says the district has made the decision to double recess time for K-5th graders.

What was a 20 minute recess will now be 40 minutes. The school day will remain the same length.

"This allows kids to recalibrate when they come back into the classroom so that they are ready to learn right away," Hynes said.

As you can imagine, most students don't seem to mind.

"My favorite thing about recess is playing with my friends," said Marie Cataldo, a third grader.

Kids outside are having a good time, but now parents are weighing in on the decision.

The majority of parents Eyewitness News spoke with are on board, but not everyone is convinced.

Fred Gorman is part of an organization called Long Islanders for Educational Reform, he's concerned.

"Recess should be 15 minutes, and school should be about learning, and it should be about discipline, and it should be about improving a child," Gorman said.

"How do you respond to the parent who says more time on the playground means less time in the classroom?" Eyewitness News Reporter Mallory Hoff asked.

"I welcome that. Actually, my first response is it's the paradox less is more, just because you're in a place for a longer period of time doesn't mean your optimizing that time," Hynes said.
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