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Duval's license to play, clarity on elementary recess

More on this tomorrow.

Here is the super's email about play.

Subject: Clarity on Elementary Recess
Elementary Teachers,
As you know, there has been much discussion about the role and use of recess. Please know that I certainly understand the importance that physical education plays in child development. Therefore, I respect your judgment to know when elementary students need to go outside and play. I know there has been well placed concern with ensuring students are exposed to all of the standards in reading, math, and science while balancing the expanded time for music, art, and PE. This, not to mention, media center time.
With all of that said, I trust that you will balance the academic commitment we have to students with the proper time to take students outside to release energy and socialize as you see fit. 
I know that differences of opinion regarding recess time will be discussed professionally with students’ interest (both academic, social, and physical) in mind between you and principals. I also know that our principals will respect your perspective on this matter.
If determined properly and professionally, then students should also benefit academically through recess.
As always, thank you for serving our children and their communities!
Nikolai. P. Vitti, Ed.D.


  1. Does this mean that elementary students have not had recess before this email? If so, how long has that policy been in effect?

  2. Many have not at least on a regular basis. I would say for most of the Vitti era though as the standards have ratcheted up it has gotten worse.

  3. My son is a second-grader and he does not have recess every day of the week. They have recess three days a week and if PE happens to fall on one of those three days that they do not get recess that day. Chris, do you know when this email went out? I plan to discuss it with my sons teacher and principal, but would like to give them time to digest it first.

  4. "This, not to mention, media center time."

    Thanks for the shot out to media specialists.

  5. The way my schedule at school reads my students get recess when it shouldn't occur , three days a week if they are lucky. We were told we were never to say the word recess. I am disappointed that there is literally no time for little children under the age of 7 to developmentally progress as they should. Forcing children to take orally delivered tests when they cannot read yet (calling it oral re telling is bogus. Asking older children to memorize the ten commandments in upper grades is also not appropriate. We were told at our school that NO TEXTS were allowed in the classroom if they were not leveled at a FP reading level. Children ( little ones ) are asked in the curriculum to discuss what religions that they know about . Studying various religions in depth (just a couple excluding the rest ) , at 40 minutes a pop and allowing 20 minutes a day for the lowest performing students totally leaves out the middle. There are numerous spelling and syntactical errors on the Duval created materials . teachers are supposed to teach without the teacher guides/modules. Students at lower grades are stressed. -I can only imagine how difficult it is for lower grade schools. Vitti adopted this curriculum on a very sneaky fashion , during the summer with no notice to parents at large in July, with an explanation that this curriculum works for "urban" communities. I do not consider Jacksonville to be 'urban" or have an "urban mentality" . Even two of the board members have not favored changes that Vitti has pushed forward.

    Let us recall and dig deeper why VITTI HAD TO LEAVE his district due to his conduct .. Google it. Dig deeper ,--media. If the general public knew what is in the curriculum which is kept away in terms of actual lessons, from the public, there would be a lot of questions regarding the content and choice of curriculum chosen by Mr. Vitti and his supporters. Parents should ask to see the teacher's guides, not just the student note books and journals. . Some topics should be left to parents to teach, not the school, . Mr. Vitti should have READ every bit of the LA curriculum before embracing. We were told NOT to send parent letters home regarding the 2Q curriculum this time- Jacksonville, you should be very concerned and check out what your child is being exposed to and see if you are ok with the LA curriculum. Something is terribly incorrect , and the responsibility is singularly on Mr. Vitti.

    1. Vitti claims that he held focus groups consisting of administration, teachers, and others to review the EngageNy and asked to compare that to the new Houghton Mifflin series. There's no way that those groups would have said yes to the EngageNy curriculum without knowing all of the content brainwashing it's doing to our students. There's just no way.
      Have any teachers bought up to their district specialists (those brave enough anyway) the inappropriate content that is in the primary reading curriculum? I am curious what their response would be.

  6. I spoke to my child's teacher about this yesterday. She said that until the district relaxes the pacing of the curriculum guides there is no way these children will get to go out for recess anymore than they currently do. If she were to take her children out to play and someone came in and saw that they were behind on their pacing guide she would be in a whole heap of trouble. Basically our superintendent is giving lip service to parents.