Volunteer at Recess/Lunch

Bells Mill relies on parents to support paid staff personnel during every lunch and recess shift. Our goal is to have 2 volunteers during each lunch and each recess period every single day; helping our students on the playground for outdoor recess days, in the classroom for indoor recess days, and in the cafeteria.

You may choose how long, how often, and where you wish to help out. Please note that committing to a recurring schedule is encouraged; i.e, every Monday, or the first Wednesday of every month all year long, etc.

2017 – 18 Volunteer Sign Ups

How Recess/Lunch Works

Students have 35-minute recess periods and 35-minute lunch periods each day except for early dismissal days. Students will have recess outdoors unless it is raining or the temperature is below 32 degrees F. Students should dress appropriately for the weather and respond promptly to directions given by recess aides, teachers, or other staff members. All students are expected to go outside on “outdoor recess” days. There is no recess on early release days.

Schedule 2017-18


  • 9:05 – Arrival of first bus; doors open
  • 9:10 – Students report to class
  • 9:20 – Morning Announcements
  • 9:25 – Instruction begins

Lunch and Recess

K Lunch 11:25 – 12:00 Recess 1:25 – 2:00
1st/4th Recess 11:25 – 12:00 Lunch 12:05 – 12:40
5th Recess 12:05 – 12:40 Lunch 12:45 – 1:20
2nd/3rd Recess 12:45 – 1:20 Lunch 1:25 – 2:00
Autism Lunch 12:05-12:40 Recess 12:45-1:20
Head Start Lunch 11:25-12:00 Recess As Needed


  • 3:45 – School Wide Organization Time.
  • 3:50 – Dismissal
  • 3:53 – Bus students will be called as the buses arrive.

FAQ for Recess/Lunch

Who can I contact on the PTA with questions or concerns about Lunch/Recess at Bells Mill?

You may contact the Chair of the Cafeteria and Recess Volunteer Committee or Contact Us.

Why are parent volunteers needed? Don’t school employees supervise children during lunch/recess?

MCPS teachers belong to a union and, under the union rules, are not required to provide coverage for lunch and recess. The school does employ several staff members to supervise students during lunch and recess. However, in addition to these staff members, the school also needs many parent volunteers to provide additional adult supervision in order to make the lunch/recess period a safe and positive experience.

Do I have to make a regular volunteer commitment? My schedule only allows me to volunteer on an occasional basis.

We encourage volunteers to make a regular commitment, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This helps us to better manage the schedule to ensure every lunch period is adequately covered. However, if you can’t make a regular commitment, ad hoc volunteers (and even last-minute volunteers) are also needed to help fill in gaps in the schedule.

How do I volunteer?

Look for the signup link above or contact the Chair of the Cafeteria and Recess Volunteer Committee and inquire about signing up for open time slots.

Where can I find information on the procedures for recess/lunch at Bells Mill?

Look for the lunch/recess handbook on BMES PTA Documents and Forms.

Can I donate items for recess?

Yes! Please donate your gently used board games, coloring books, sidewalk chalk, basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes and hula hoops to Bells Mill for the children to use during recess. Just bring your donations, throughout the year, to the front office marked for PTA. We appreciate it!

Does the PTA support recess in other ways?

The Bells Mill PTA spends around $1,000 each year on indoor and outdoor equipment and games for our students.

More ways to Get Involved