Thursday, January 20, 2011


You are the reason we were able to sit down yesterday at one table with all four of the Beacon elementary school principals.  Thank-you.  Individually we had been calling the schools, meeting principals and writing e-mails for several weeks and while we always received polite answers regarding the district guidelines, we were not given any reason to hope that the children would be able to get outside more often in the winter.

Until you showed up.  Our principals deal with a work load that is as varied as it is relentless.  While putting the educational needs and physical safety of our children first, they do not have the kind of time for general policy review that we might like to think they have.  Every time one or two parents contact the office, they cannot necessarily take time out to review a policy that might have been in effect for decades (as it appears the winter weather guideline has been.)

However, when a small group of parents start organizing information and then ask friends and supporters to be counted and then those friends and parents do actually take the time out of their own day to come to a blog, look around and then sign in; well that  IS something.  So thank-you.  Without you yesterday would not have happened.

And about yesterday?  We went to South Avenue expecting to meet one principal and instead we were able to sit down around a table with all four principals!  We are deeply grateful for their time and attention.  The discussion was in depth and we came away with a real task list of next steps.   There has never been doubt in our minds that the principals want the children to have outdoor recess whenever possible and we came away from the meeting knowing that they are believers in the benefits of outdoor recess.  We also came away with a deeper understanding for what the challenges are in general and specifically to each school.  It will take us a few days to write down all that we understand the hurdles to be from our meeting notes.  When we have concrete steps to take we will post them here.  We will be going to the superintendent and to the board of education with our recommendations.

In the meantime if you have ideas regarding recess please share them either here or with your schools principal directly.  Each school facility is unique and so what works for one school may not necessarily work for another.  The more ideas we collect the better.  Also, please tell your friends who may not have heard about the website.  We would love to have more people from each school participating.  If you have links to share that might be helpful we would love to see them and we'll post the link in our sidebar.

Yesterday, for what one of the principals said was the first time in years, all four elementary school principals sat down at one table to talk about recess.

That was because of you.

If in the near future you pass a school yard in Beacon and you see children playing in the snow you should know you had a part in the laughter you hear coming over the fence.

Thanks for your support.

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