Alameda Schools Featured in San Francisco Chronicle

The topic of safety during recess was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, and Alameda schools provided the examples. Play is important to learning, but as Jill Tucker reports, Bay Farm Elementary and Paden Elementary approach the rules of play differently.

Tag is not allowed at Bay Farm Elementary. Neither is running nor going up the slide. The idea is for children to return home in the same shape they arrive to school in, Principal Babs Freitas explained to the Chronicle. Safety, kindness, and responsibility are the cornerstones of play at this school.

Some parents agree with this philosophy; others think it’s equivalent to “bubble-wrapping” their kids.

At Paden Elementary, the rules are very different. Tag is allowed, recess time is extended, and going up the slide, mindfully, is also permitted. According to Principal Katherine Barr, safety, kindness, and responsibility are also the priorities here, and the injuries are minimal, comparable to the number when rules had been more restricted.

With the latest studies showing how vital free time, movement, socialization, rest, and imagination are to learning and development, such differences in philosophy could very well steer parents toward one school versus another. Another thing to look into during info night.

Which style of play do you nurture? Share with us using the comments feature below!

Read more APD blogs about school and safety:

4 Fun Articles to Get Back Into School Mode
Is Your High School Athlete Safe from Concussion?
ABCs of the Back-to-School Dental Check-Up

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