Woodlawn and Southwood Elementary School have officially diverged from the traditional structure of a school day.

Where most schools operate with a lunch break and two short recesses, Woodlawn and Southwood have been operating on two 25-minute nutrition and activity breaks instead. The concept is called a “Balanced School Day” and has been a two-year-long pilot project. The result? Considerable.

Danielle Funk serves on the Hanover School Board as the Chair of the Education Committee. She is also a mother of students affected by this new program. Both roles, she says, have given her a favorable first impression. 

From what she has heard from teachers, the three longer blocks of learning afforded by the Balanced School Day principles has increased student attentiveness and decreased restlessness.

“In my kids, I’ve noticed a change in behavior after school,” offers Funk, “and they are less tired and less hungry.”

Funk says most of her fellow parents have noticed a similar shift in attitude.

“I would say it has been very successful. I’m sure there a few people who have some difficulty with it, but overall it has been very well-received."

Considering this success, the schools have asked the HSD Board to permit them to continue with their Balanced School Days indefinitely.

The board unanimously approved the request.

Funk says there is no word yet on whether or not other schools in the division are interested in adopting a similar procedure.

Read more: Steinbach Schools Reinventing The Traditional Timetable