Tracee Wilkins, Zachary Kiesch and the News4 team covering where you live

Charter School in Prince George's County to End Recess

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    A Prince George's County charter school will end recess in an effort to shorten the school day.

    College Park Academy, a middle school, will end 35 minutes earlier once the change goes into effect, the Washington Post reported.

    The county's Board of Education approved the change by a 12-0 vote Thursday, after teachers suggested the change.

    The school had a longer school day than most middle schools. Teachers said students were extremely tired by the end of the day, said Frank Brewer, interim executive director of the academy.

    Brewer said cutting recess was a way to shorten the day without affecting instructional time.

    The school is currently in session from 8:25 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. After cutting recess, school will end at 3:20 p.m.

    Schools across the country have been reducing or eliminating recess as they face pressure to raise academic standards.

    College Park Academy, which has ties to University of Maryland College Park, opened a year ago.

    The Washington Post reports:

    According to county school regulations, middle schools are not required to offer recess, and a schools spokesman said that the county's middle schools don't have it. County elementary schools "should" offer recess for "no less than 15 minutes per day and for no more than 30 minutes per day," according to regulations in Prince George's.

    Some parents told the Washington Post that they oppose the change.

    "These kids are on the computer all day long," said Gayatri Varma, whose son is in 8th grade at the school. "Kids need downtime."

    Varma told the her daughter didn't have recess at Hyattsville Middle School, but had a full period for lunch, unlike the students at College Park Academy.