KALISPELL — Edgerton Elementary School is looking to revamp the way recess is structured for their children.
Principal Jen Stein believes recess is a crucial part to a student's school day.
"The idea of going outside and getting fresh air, I think being part of a structure where you learn to interact with others," Stein said. "You make friends with people who maybe aren't in your class. It kind of broadens your view of people and activities."
However, Stein explains recess for some students can be overwhelming.
"Sometimes it's an argument about how a game should be played. One kid thinks it should be played this way and is trying to tell the kids to play it one way and maybe the rules change from day to day," Stein said. "Often, there's a misunderstanding about intention. Sometimes you're not as talented at something as somebody else. So, you start to feel poorly about playing it."
Technology teacher Sean Kelly says the staff at Edgerton saw these obstacles as great learning experiences for their students. "Recess is a very big unstructured time, and for some kids that's very difficult, to go out, and there's a hundred kids on the playground," Kelly said.
With these concerns in mind, the school has decided to make some adjustments to recess time.
Edgerton bought brand new play equipment and re-sized the big grass field on campus to encourage kids to be curious. Staff are also hoping these changes help foster relationships between students and encourage them to try new activities.
"We've purchased a lot of footballs, basketballs, four square balls, jump ropes, frisbees, things of that nature," Kelly said. "And then we've restructured the field too where we painted lines and divided our huge field into seven different fields."
Kelly says these new additions will build more social skills and teamwork among students. Stein is hopeful that these skills learned on the playground will transfer to the classroom and help students succeed.
The next thing the school looks to add is a walking path for students. The school wants to provide students with other options besides play equipment and the field during recess.
As of right now, the school is still seeking donations for the walking track. The staff hopes to have the walking track available to students by next school year.
If you're interested in providing a donation to Edgerton Elementary School you can contact them at (406) 751-4040.