The MASH News

The Student News Site of Mauro Sheridan Interdistrict Magnet School

The MASH News

The MASH News

Sebastian and Ethan in the after school Band program playing the saxophone
After School Band
March 28, 2024

The MASH News is investigating why 6-8th grades don’t have recess.


Why don’t 6-8th graders have recess? To understand this, we interviewed Mr. McDonough, a 7th-grade teacher, and Mrs. Sandra Kalizewski, our principal.

According to Mrs. K. middle schoolers should not have recess and in fact, they have never had recess.

“Middle school students – grades 6, 7, and 8- have minimal time for recess,” Mrs. K. said. “There is a set schedule for the core academic subjects including specials and a lunch period. Middle school students have gym twice a week and we encourage students to get into sports outside of the school day to help promote physical activity. We also must prepare students for high school success, which includes no recess. “

In addition, Mrs. K. says she does not believe this group needs recess.

Story continues below advertisement

“Sixth, seventh and eighth graders need social development and less screen time,” Mrs. K. said. “Students need to be more empathetic and kinder to each other. This is happening more and more through authentic interactions with each other inside the classroom with the facilitation of classroom teachers.”

Mr. McDonough said that “recess is really for elementary school kids.” He said that grades k-5 have more energy than the older kids and they need recess as the other grades “don’t need it because they can sit still for longer periods.” 

The second reason is that the middle school students walk from class to class, while the elementary students sit in the same classroom all day. Since middle school students have to walk more than K-5, middle school students have time before periods and K-5 students don’t have breaks before periods. 

“I think that they need to have at least 10 to 15 minutes. I think the only way the older kids would have recess would be in a shorter time frame,” Mr. McDonough said. “I think with older kids some of you know when you go through adolescence a little, your body doesn’t need as much break time.”

Occasionally on Fridays, students can earn free time after math or language arts, Mr. McDonough said. 

In my experience, the only time older kids had recess was when I taught eighth grade in 2021 and recess was on at the end of periods, sometimes as a mask break when students wore masks all day, but even then, at my other school they did not want this break to turn into full-blown recess. 

Recess is more of a break for elementary kids who need to have sensory breaks, McDonough said. 

Here is what the middle schoolers think.

Six grader  Gabi says “when you get older you have to do more work and if we have recess then that’s like a whole 30 minutes that you could’ve done work with so I do not think that there should be recess because it takes away from work time.”

“My name is Avery, and I think yes and no. We get assigned more work, but I also think that there can be time to fit recess into the day.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The MASH News

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mauro Sheridan Interdistrict Magnet School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The MASH News

Comments (0)

All The MASH News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *