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Board says no new recess policy for HUSD schools

The Humboldt Unified School District governing board looked at a proposed recess policy at its Dec. 14 meeting and decided to take a "walk" on it and leave the district's current policy intact.

Recent state legislation required all school districts to consider the new policy during a public meeting no later than Jan. 1.

Kathy Kay, HUSD Educational Services director, said she talked with each elementary school principal about the proposed policy that requires at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity outside or inside the classroom for students in kindergarten through fifth grades. Unstructured recess time after lunch does not meet the requirement; however, physical education classes do.

On average, Kay said, HUSD all-day kindergartners through third-graders have 15 minutes per day recess time. Half-day kindergartners receive no recess time; except for after lunch, nor do fourth-, fifth- or sixth-graders.

Kay said she thinks legislators created the policy because of the interest in student health and welfare. Children are not as active and there is a greater tendency toward obesity than in the past.

Districts needed only to present the policy for discussion in a public meeting.

"This appears to be heading toward another unfunded mandate," said board member Rich Adler.

After a short discussion, the board voted unanimously to maintain its district K-6 recess policy.

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