A report compiled by Davis County elementary school administrators aimed at making their schools more effective recommends elimination of recesses and that orchestra and tutor programs be conducted after school.
The report, presented to the Davis County School Board this week, says that too much time is being wasted in mid-morning and mid-afternoon recesses, student misbehavior, absenteeism, holiday celebrations and the school lunch program.The six-member committee of principals recommended that the 15-minute recesses be replaced with breaks scheduled by the teacher. In addition to breaks, a 30-minute physical education period should be held in the classroom, multipurpose room or outside.
It takes students about one hour to focus back on learning after they go on recess, according to committee chairman Maynard Whitesides.
While it may seem the panel wants "to take all the fun out of school," a good teacher can make learning activities fun, Whitesides said.
The panel said that student misbehavior was the single greatest cause of decreased instructional time.
Other recommendations include:
* Teachers should use only materials that support lesson objectives. Teachers often use films, videos and seat work to fill time.
* Teachers should not spend time on holiday and birthday celebrations. Holiday programs and productions should only be planned with curriculum objectives in mind. Class time should not be spent on birthday parties, and treats should not be provided.
* Students should not be used to serve school lunches.
* Absenteeism should be addressed by a district policy. Schools should recognize students for attending classes and being on time.
* Students should not be allowed to leave classes to participate in music, tutor or enrichment programs. Such programs should be conducted after school or better coordinated.
* Parents and others should not be allowed to visit classrooms unless they have made an appointment.
* School administrators should be allowed to work more with teachers, public relations, scheduling, discipline and curriculum while having the office staff take care of routine assignments like answering calls.
* The school lunch program should not be administered by the principal's staff. School lunch prices should be raised, and extra staff should be hired.