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Arborg Early Middle School
Balanced School Day
​What is the Balanced School Day?

The balanced school day schedule breaks the instructional time into three one hundred minute blocks, with two nutrition and activity breaks separating the blocks. Each nutrition/activity break consists of a 15-20-minute “eating” segment followed by a 20-35 minute outdoor activity time. This replaces the two 15-minute recesses and the traditional 60-minute lunch hour.


Balanced Nutrition –Children need frequent food breaks each day. This schedule provides two opportunities during the school day when students sit down to eat together, rather than eating on the run at recess. Students who are nutritionally satisfied can concentrate better and learn more effectively.

Physical Activity – At a time when physical inactivity and obesity are of increasing concern in school-age children, this schedule provides two opportunities every day to take part in 20-35 minutes of uninterrupted play. Currently, much of the 15-minute recess is taken up with washroom breaks, eating snacks, and dressing, particularly during the winter months. Children often have little or no time to play. The quality exercise time energizes students, helps them to concentrate better on schoolwork, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The increased time also opens up opportunities for the gym to be used twice a day for extracurricular activities.

More Time for Learning – To maximize learning for children the new schedule provides a significant block of intensive teaching/learning time without interruption. Under the old schedule, each of the three breaks during the school day results in at least 10 minutes of dressing/undressing. With two scheduled breaks, students will spend less time entering/exiting the classroom.

Programming – The three large blocks of time provide teachers with more flexibility when planning and provide more opportunities to continue a lessons if required. School schedules have significant blocks of uninterrupted time for literacy programming (reading, writing, oral and visual communication) during each school day. This provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to fine-tune the literacy initiative that they have been developing for a number of years.

School Schedule

9:00-9:50 Period 1
9:50-10:40 Period 2
10:40-11:20- Break 1
11:20-12:10 Period 3
12:10-1:00 Period 4
1:00-1:50- Break 2
1:50-2:40 Period 5
2:40-3:30 Period 6
3:30 Dismissal

Nutrition Breaks

The students will have two breaks during the day. Each of the breaks have a portion of time that is supervised for students to eat in their classrooms.
There is no need to pack two separate lunches, you can simple divide the contents of what you would normally send with your child into two fulfilling portions.Some useful guidelines are:
  • Sandwiches can be cut in half and wrapped separately.
  • Fruits, veggies, crackers and cheese cubes can be placed in separate bags and numbered for each nutritional break.
  • Consider packing two nutritious drinks in your child’s lunch for each break.
  • Try to pack foods without nuts or nut products in support of our peanut-safe schools.
  • Involve your child in planning and preparing for his or her nutritional breaks.
  • If your child is responsible for packing his or her lunch, please see that he or she has included a balanced selection of healthy foods.
  • For each break, try to pack a variety of healthy, nutritious foods from three of the four food groups from Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
  • You may also wish to balance lunch box snacks with homemade meals by inviting your child to join you at home during the 12:55-1:50 break.