Lawmakers Vote to Add More Recess Time to School Day

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Schools across the state will soon be making accommodations for students to be provided extra time on the playground. On April 1, both chambers approved HB 1409, which guarantees that elementary students will get at least 40 minutes of recess per day.

The enacted legislation, Act 641, “allows for extended learning opportunities through unstructured social time…Public school students need the ability to learn and grow from one another in a social setting.”

Republican Representative Jana Della Rosa from Rogers sponsored the bill. It is intended to provide more opportunities for physical activity during the school day, and promote healthy and active lifestyles. “Public school students should be given a sufficient daily break in the form of recess, which would allow them to fully focus while they are in class”

The lack of sufficient recess time, according to proponents of the bill, causes decreased focus in class and fewer opportunities to develop social awareness among public school students. “Due to numerous mandates, there has been a steady decline in the amount of time dedicated to recess for elementary public school students.”

Act 641 will allow for at least 40 minutes of instructional time per school day. That recess time shall consist of supervised, unstructured social time during which public school students may communicate with each other.
The recess act is irrespective of location, indoor or out, and schools are provided the opportunity to apply for a waiver.

The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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