Mrs. Gervais’ fourth grade class was struggling through a year in a temporary school while their permanent school underwent extensive remodeling and asbestos removal. Because the temporary school was so far from their home school, many of their friends’ parents had option-enrolled them in another school for the year. As a result, many of the students were missing their very good friends from the year before. The temporary playground was “make do” at best-a large flat field that lacked such amenities as the tetherball, foursquare courts, climbing structures, and a concrete pad for jumping rope or bouncing balls. With few other choices, most fourth graders spent the recess playing soccer. The playground supervisors were having a difficult year as well. They were preoccupied with keeping track of the children as they spread out across the field, and with escorting children across the parking access road that ran between the building and the playground. The playground was some distance away from the building door, requiring that the supervisors manage all but the most extreme misbehavior on the playground without calling upon the office staff. By
the end of recess, tempers had often short-circuited, and many children came back into the school cranky and unhappy.