MCISD officials confirmed this week that the 2018-19 school year will include either daily recess or daily physical education at the Madisonville Intermediate campus after an online movement was created by Elementary and Intermediate parent Brooke Willis earlier this year.
Willis began her efforts with a Facebook group entitled ‘Give Recess Back to Madisonville Intermediate’ back in January, which grew to over 120 members in support of the cause. She also received private messages of support from many voices in the community throughout the process.
“At first, I thought I was just raising a concern,” said Willis. “I never expected to talk with the Superintendent about it or the school board. The amount of support I got was honestly what kept me going. I did not want to drag it out and make it a big issue, so when I got the results this week I was very excited.”
After raising the issue with Intermediate Principal Tawnya Nail and MCISD Superintendent Keith Smith, Willis signed up to speak at the March 5 school board meeting. She presented the board with her case for daily recess and cited numerous statistics stating kids benefit from time outside of the classroom.
At the time, Smith stated that the test scores would need to be evaluated before a final decision could be made. A campus needs assessment conducted a few years ago stated that additional academic support was required to ensure success for all students, so an intervention program was established. On top of Willis’s statistics, she provided examples of schools with academic intervention programs that also have daily recess at the March board meeting.
Willis waited on the board’s decision to come. Nail contacted Willis via email last Monday to inform her that the Intermediate School would indeed be incorporating daily recess.
“Everyone involved was extremely professional and they did their jobs,” said Willis. “They are trying to do what is best for this school and this district. I understand that there is a lot that goes into planning schedules, so they could not just say yes or no right away. I gave them space after presenting at the school board and just waited for the decision to come.”
Willis has also received overwhelming support from the community on the movement’s Facebook page throughout the process.