Principal Testimonials | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Principal Testimonials

I'm a principal who believes recess is an important time for our students to release the energy, socialize and have fun. Unfortunately, recess can be a time of conflict that often spills over into the classroom.Teachers spend a lot of time trying to resolve issues that have nothing to do with class work.

We are so excited that Playworks offers a model for conflict resolution through structured, organized and safe play. Our teachers get back so many hours of instruction time because they do not have to interrupt the lesson to deal with student behavior. All of that is dealt with on the playground

Ellen Snedeker        
Maybury Elementary School        
Detroit, Michigan      

Before Playworks recess was chaotic. There was very little structure, children didn't have caring attitudes towards each other and they didn't know expectations day to day.

Now students have clear expectations, they know the rules to games and the older students feel responsible for teaching younger students new games and playing with them in safe, respectful ways.

After recess students quickly return to the classroom focused and ready to learn. With Playworks there are a fewer conflicts and discipline issues.

Sandy Mitchell-Woods
Nathan Hale Elementary School
Roxbury, Massachusetts

One of the best things about Playworks is that it gives the kids tools to resolve their conflicts with each other. There will always be arguments on the playground, so it is important that kids learn how to resolve them.

And every day I see the same conflict resolution tools like Rock-Paper-Scissors follow kids back into the classroom

As far as I am concerned, Playworks is simply untouchable. It brings tremendous value to our school. The staff training and philosophy are amazing.

Steven Thomasberger        
Allendale Elementary School        
Oakland, California  

Last year, William Dick School in the heart of North Philadelphia, had the opportunity to experience a "Recess Rollout" - a one-week taste of what Playworks can bring to students. After that weeklong trial, we were amazed at the differences we saw in our students.

We're now eagerly engaged in our first year with Playworks on the playground. We are confident it will not only improve recess, but also support the instruction as well as positive social skills. I see Playworks as a key partner in our efforts to create lifelong learners who are productive members of society.

Amy L. Williams
William Dick School

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Before Playworks there were a lot of conflicts at recess between students. Many arguments would come back inside the school with kids lined up in the office waiting for administrative staff to intervene, rather than being in the classroom learning. Even when students went back to the classroom there were outbursts between students.

Since Playworks, most days the office is empty after recess. This means academics aren't interrupted; students go directly back to class without the need for conflict resolution by teachers or staff

The thing that is most surprising for me about Playworks is this: It didn't take months, it didn't take weeks, we saw change within days and that's a program worth keeping!

Tamala Newsome        
Rosa Parks School        
Portland, Oregon    

Thanks to Playworks Coach we haven't had any injuries from recess all year. The physical conflicts have been greatly reduced. We were able to resolve the conflicts that did occur in a much better way.

Now kids go back to class happy and ready to learn. My teachers really appreciate the difference it's making for them in the classroom.

Trust me, the result of having Playworks at my school has been concrete and measurable.

Jason C. Lody
Center City Public Charter School - 
Shaw Campus
Washington, D.C.

Before Playworks, students were likely to be wandering aimlessly on the playground or hanging out in groups without participating. This lack of purpose led to negative interactions and unhealthy ways of entertaining themselves and the negative attitudes often carried over to the classroom.

For me, it comes down to this: Students move more, smile more, laugh more, and return to their classrooms with a much more positive vibe than they did before. Thank you, Playworks!

Brian Schmaedick        
Goss Elementary        
San Jose, California    

Playworks has taken the worst part of the school day at Broadway Elementary and made it into a time that is fun AND productive.

Most of our suspensions and disciplinary referrals stemmed from recess. Many students wouldn't participate in recess at all so that they wouldn't get hurt. They would sit around the perimeter of the playground to avoid being pushed or shoved. Recess actually hindered my students' learning for the remainder of the school day.

Disciplinary referrals at recess have diminished to nearly zero. They have become a thing of the past. Now students are ready to learn for the remainder of the school day.

 Alejandro Echevarria
 Broadway Elementary
 Newark, New Jersey

This is my second school where Playworks has been integral to a successful recess. I'd make sure that Playworks is at any school where I'm principal. When kids are focused engaged in playing, they can focus on the academics when they return to class. Playworks helps the kids have a great day at school and get exercise. We make sure that they learn.

Thanks, Playworks, for helping us ensure our students' academics success.

Sara Shenkan-Rich        
Sherman Elementary School        
San Francisco, California     

When Playworks came to Hamilton two years ago, everything changed. Recess is still unstructured but with guided limits. Kids now choose something fun and active that interests them - there are lots of options. The office referrals sum it up. Before Playworks we had 585 office referrals. Last year we only had 130.

And the difference? Recess has gone from a time that almost always takes away from instruction - to one that supports learning. The skills students learn at recess, like conflict resolution, have enhanced their ability to cooperate in the classroom.

It's actually nice to walk outside at recess now. Thank you Playworks.

 William J. Murphy
Hamilton Elementary/Middle School
Baltimore, Maryland

The bottom line for me is that having Playworks ultimately ensures more instructional time. I have found that the kids who can least afford to spend time in my office are the kids who do spend the most time.

Having Playworks provides another opportunity for our kids to not only learn but succeed in school and in life.

Robert F. Beam        
Johnson Elementary School        
Denver, Colorado