Fairfax schools don’t earn high points for physical education or recess

At the Fairfax County school board work session last night, Elizabeth T. Bradsher (Springfield) asked Penny McConnell, director of food and nutrition services, whether Fairfax schools were applying for awards under the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard. McConnell replied that since Fairfax elementary school students did not meet the requirement for 150 minutes of physical activity, they were not applying for awards under that program. Bradsher then asked Superintendent Jack D. Dale, “We probably will never do that?”

Dale and the attending school board members laughed, but did not answer.

Here are two excerpts from the Governors’ Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard.

Physical Activity Scorecard

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/healthyva_scorecard.pdf

Circle
Points
Earned

1. All students receive physical education for at least 150 minutes/week (elementary) and 225 minutes/week (middle and high school) throughout the school year.Persons with the answers: Principal/Central office HPE administrator

Physical education = structured physical education classes, not recess

10

150 min./week for elementary and 225 min./week for middle and high school

5

90 min./week for elementary and 135 min./week for middle and high school

2

60 min./week for elementary and 90 min./week for middle and high school

0

Less than 60 min./week for elementary and less than 90 min./week for middle and high school

.

Circle
Points
Earned

2. Elementary school provides a minimum of 30 minutes of daily recess that promotes physical activity beyond what is provided through physical education classes.Persons with the answers: Principal/Central office HPE administrator

10

30 minutes of daily recess that promotes physical activity, which could be structured and/or non-structured activities

5

20 minutes of daily recess that promotes physical activity, which could be structured and/or non-structured activities

2

30 minutes of daily recess

0

Less than 30 minutes of daily recess

Most Fairfax elementary schools would earn two points on the table for physical education. Some would earn five points (for 90 minutes of physical education). For recess, most elementary schools in Fairfax County would earn 0 points, since they only provide 10 minutes per day for recess (if they also meet the state standards for instructional time). There are only three elementary schools in Fairfax County which currently have enough time in the school week to have more than 10 minutes for recess. Next year budget cuts will mean these schools will also have a shortened week since they will go back to the Monday early dismissal schedule.

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3 Comments on “Fairfax schools don’t earn high points for physical education or recess”

  1. pommefrites says:

    “McConnell replied that since Fairfax elementary school students did not meet the requirement for 150 minutes of physical activity, they were not applying for awards under that program.”

    Oh, I’m sure FCPS will find a way to buy themselves another award. 🙂

  2. slpfairfax says:

    Ginger–Can you create a scorecard for FCPS?

    • It would be difficult to figure out whether to give a score for the “official” amount of time for recess (10 minutes or less) or the actual amount of time for recess, whether that is 20 or 30 minutes. I don’t think Fairfax provides any public information on the actual amount of recess for the various schools. This information can be gained from some parents and teachers on an informal basis. However, I don’t want to take advantage of unofficial information provided by teachers or parents. What if they got in trouble for this information? Then who would ever talk to me?


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