Research on RECESS removal 2

RECOMMENDATIONS From American Academy of Pediatrics

There is a FULL 8 page document available here.(

In their role as child health experts, the pediatricians of the AAP stress the following perspective to parents, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers:

  1. Recess is a necessary break in the day for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. In essence, recess should be considered a child’s personal time, and it should not be withheld for academic or punitive reasons.

  2. Cognitive processing and academic performance depend on regular breaks from concentrated classroom work. This applies equally to adolescents and to younger children. To be effective, the frequency and duration of breaks should be sufficient to allow the student to mentally decompress.

  3. Recess is a complement to, but not a replacement for, physical education. Physical education is an academic discipline. Whereas both have the potential to promote activity and a healthy lifestyle, only recess (particularly unstructured recess) provides the creative, social, and emotional benefits of play.

  4. Recess can serve as a counterbalance to sedentary time and contribute to the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, a standard strongly supported by AAP policy as a means to lessen risk of overweight.

  5. Whether structured or unstructured, recess should be safe and well supervised. Although schools should ban games and activities that are unsafe, they should not discontinue recess altogether just because of concerns connected with child safety. Environmental conditions, well-maintained playground equipment, and well-trained supervisors are the critical components of safe recess.

  6. Peer interactions during recess are a unique complement to the classroom. The lifelong skills acquired for communication, negotiation, cooperation, sharing, problem solving, and coping are not only foundations for healthy development but also fundamental measures of the school experience.

In 2012, a recess bill was proposed in Illinois.

It unfortunately did not pass. However, Chicago Public Schools adopted this policy and now provides a minimum of 20 mins of recess for grades K-5 and does NOT remove recess as punishment.   2012 IL Recess Bill

“Provides that a school board shall require that schools provide daily recess for all students in kindergarten through grade 5. Provides that the recess must be at least 20 minutes in length. Provides that recess shall include unstructured play and may include organized games. Provides that if the principal determines that the weather is inclement, then the principal shall direct that recess be held indoors. Provides that a school board may require that schools provide daily recess for all students in grades 6 through 8. Requires a school board to prohibit the withholding of recess as a disciplinary action. Effective July 1, 2012.”

Information from National Education Association on Recess before Lunch.

Recess before Lunch info

Does Recess as a punishment work?

Podcast Rae Pica with Melinda Bossenmeyer, Ed.D., Patte Barth, Sarah Garland

Withdrawing recess as punishment -Does it work?

Bridging the Gap Researchers

collected data using a standardized method based on evidence-based guidelines makes these recommendations from expert organizations and agencies. Recess Brief in PDF

The US Center for Disease Control supports RECESS.

How can parents change recess policies?

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) supports recess!

Article 31 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child aims to protect: “The right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.” (Convention on the Rights of the Child).

 Prisoners get more outside time than children!

Prison Inmates Spend More Time Outside Than Your Kid Does, A Worldwide Survey Says

Article from CNN

Websites for more information:

National Organizations

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