Every student in the Buffalo Public Schools from kindergarten to third grade is getting recess now for 20 minutes a day.
That’s in addition to physical education classes.
“Now that’s a plus,” School Board member Sharon Belton-Cottman said during Wednesday evening’s committee meetings.
The update was presented during the Student Achievement Committee meeting by Yamilette Williams, chief of curriculum, assessment and instruction.
Williams said the district has been working with schools to ensure they have implemented the allotted of time required by the state Education Department for recess and physical activity.
“Kids have recess every day, which was not happening consistently last year,” said Superintendent Pamela C. Brown.
Health education and physical education regulations were a different story.
Williams pointed out that the district is fulfilling some critical issues on state regulations for health education and physical education.
Still, Buffalo is not in full compliance with state mandates for physical education and health education, but officials are working on that, the superintendent said.
So far, teachers have been provided with 90-minute videos they can include in their classroom time.
The video fulfills the physical education component for students in kindergarten through third grade, said Assunta Ventresca, director of health-related services.
But it does not for higher grades.
“For fourth- through sixth-grade students, we’re out of compliance,” Ventresca said.
As for the health education requirements mandated by the state, the district issued a request for proposals for health education curriculum in kindergarten through grade 12, Williams said.
The proposals would address middle schools first, “and then we will integrate additional grade levels,” Williams said.
Belton-Cottman suggested that the district work with existing staff to create a health education curriculum, which could save some money.
“What I’m trying to do is see if we can do some of that stuff ourselves more,” she said.
During the Educational Support Services Committee meeting, Mark Frazier, acting director of student placement, said the central registration office has returned to paper and pencil registration, rejecting a computerized system the district started using last year to enroll children.
“The computerized system was a failure,” Frazier said.
Frazier also reported that from now on, a live person will answer telephone calls that come into the registration office.
There will be no more answering machines or endless keypad selections, Frazier said.