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Third Street School Front View and faculty Parking lot on the left and bike racks adjacent.

Third Street School is an elementary school located on Third Street in Unnamed City and is the main setting for almost every episode of Recess. The school is named after both the street itself and the streets' namesake, Thaddeus T. Third III.


In "My Fair Gretchen", it is revealed that Third Street School is located somewhere in the state of Arkansas and maybe even the city of Little Rock, but the exact location remains unknown. In a statement written by the show's co-creator Joe Ansolabehere, he recounts creating the look of the school based on Cooke Elementary—a school he went to in Detroit. Book illustrator Dave Shannon composed an initial concept drawing of Third Street based on a school he attended in Washington State, which was "exactly what [Ansolabehere] was thinking".

When it came to naming the school, Ansolabehere stated "...when naming the school, we were trying to think of a name that could be in any that lots of kids would think 'Hey, that's my school!' or 'I know where that school is.'" The show's other creator, Paul Germain, decided on the name Third Street based on the public elementary school his kids attended in Los Angeles (in the Hancock Park area).

Perhaps the most notable features of Third Street School are the ever present clock on the back of the main building; the playground and particularly Old Rusty, the jungle gym on which much of the story depends. Third Street School is also unique; There are many secrets hidden inside and outside the walls. Its first-class was held in 1928.



  • The school teaches grades K-6th and feeds into Spiro T. Agnew Middle School.
  • It is revealed in "The Great Can Drive" that Eudora B. Finkelstein was a graduate of Third Street School's first class in 1928, suggesting that as the founding school year. This would make sense, as Principal Prickly and Miss Finster (who have both been working at the school since at least the 1960s) were shown to have been students at Third Street when they were kids.
    • Also, in "The Rules," the kids found an Official Playground Rulebook that was written by King Morty (real name being "Mortimer") all the way back in 1935, during the height of the Great Depression.
  • In the Recess: School's Out DVD bonus feature "Digital Comic Book: The Trouble with Shorts", Spinelli mentions that it is against the law that the school does not allow students to wear shorts; the only exception Miss Finster will allow is if a student plays basketball.

Possible Locations

  • In "Spinelli's Masterpiece", T.J. gives Knarf the coordinates 40.5 N, -80 W to locate Spinelli's drawing. That puts Third Street near 1621 Saw Mill Run Blvd., Pittsburgh PA, 15210, USA.
  • Third Street uses the Arkansas State Exams, which could put it as E Stem Public Charter Elementary School on West Third Street in Little Rock. The school does resemble some satellite outlines as the Third Street School in Los Angeles, CA, which would make sense as in Recess: School's Out, Phillium Benedict mentions California freezing even though he first mentioned flooding on the east which could support a Third Street School in Belvidere, NJ.


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