At first glance, recess appears to be the simplest component of the school day. After all, it’s just a period of unstructured playtime for rambunctious children. But now, two elementary schools in Edina, Minn., have annoyed some parents by spending $30,000 on a “recess consultant” to help them with the activity.
The consultants from Playworks were brought in to help the schools navigate the “politics of the playground,” according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The company seeks to improve the quality of recess and make it more inclusive by adding more structure and encouraging positive behaviors. For example, according to the Star-Tribune, game participants are trained to avoid “You’re out!” in favor of “Nice try” or “Good job.”
The structured activities, ranging from soccer to jumping rope, are intended to make sure all students are able to participate while avoiding bullying and other hazards.
It may all seem a bit silly, but several school employees say it’s paid off with fewer trips to the principal or school nurse.