May 18, 2012
Beginning next school year, La`ie Elementary School will be implementing a new bell schedule. This new bell schedule was designed through a collaborative effort of a school committee, school faculty, and reviewed by our La`ie School Community Council. To meet federal requirements, our current bell schedule needed an additional sixty (60) minutes per week of instructional time.
Compared to our current bell schedule, our new bell schedule will include beginning the school day five minutes earlier every day; ending school five minutes later on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays; and ending school 15 minutes later on Wednesdays.
In addition to starting the school day earlier and ending later, our school committee and faculty discussions identified recess before lunch as a school priority. Several schools in Hawai`i, including schools in the Kahuku Complex have already implemented a Recess Before Lunch schedule.
A Recess Before Lunch schedule allows students to play first, and then eat lunch. Following lunch, students will return to class, and be ready to learn. Similar to our current bell schedule, students will have the same amount of recess (15 minutes) and lunchtime (30 minutes) with the new schedule. This schedule provides a balanced amount of instructional or seat time throughout the school day.
National studies have shown that when schools have a Recess Before Lunch schedule, students consume more nutrients and spend more time eating, whereby wasting less food. When students are not hungry, they are able to focus more on learning and achieve better in class. Positive changes in student behavior have also been observed on the playground, in the cafeteria, and in the classroom. I encourage you to to visit the Peaceful Playgrounds website at http://www.peacefulplaygrounds.com/recess-before-lunch.htm for more information about Recess Before Lunch schedules.
As always, thank you for your support—your cooperation and understanding are appreciated. As our school decisions and directions have been, this schedule is in the best interests of our students, and will promote student achievement and healthy eating habits. I would be happy to hear your questions or comments about our new bell schedule as the 2012-2013 school year progresses.
Matthew C.W. Ho
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