Washington PTA: 11.27
BEST PRACTICES – RECESS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Resolution passed 2018
and Whereas, elementary school children who have more recess time have been found to have better classroom behavior; and
Whereas, recess is important for children’s socialization, school adjustment, and overall social-emotional development; and
Whereas, recess provides unstructured play opportunities that allow children to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity and should not replace physical education classes that provide sequential instruction to enhance the development of motor skills, movement concepts, and physical fitness; and
Whereas, children who engage in more physical activity have better physical and mental health; and
Whereas, physical activity can provide other benefits to children’s positive development such as physical competence, a sense of personal responsibility, creativity, problem-solving and conflict resolution; and
Whereas, the establishment of an active lifestyle in childhood leads to a more active lifestyle in adulthood; and
Whereas, schools in lower-income neighborhoods often schedule significantly less recess than schools in affluent neighborhoods; and
Whereas, longer recess periods (more than 20 minutes) have increased benefits over shorter recess periods; and
Whereas, children should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, and children spend a large portion of their awake hours in school.
Therefore, be it Resolved, that Washington State PTA and its constituent associations support the critical role school-based wellness policies play in influencing healthy behaviors in students’ lives and support both adequate recess and physical education classes; and be it further
Resolved, that Washington State PTA and its constituent associations advocate for at least one period of recess for a minimum of 30 minutes total, or a minimum of five minutes per hour of daily instruction, for each elementary student every school day; and be it further
Resolved, that Washington State PTA and its constituent associations oppose the denial of school recess as a disciplinary measure for academic reasons or inappropriate classroom behavior; and be it further
Resolved, that Washington State PTA and its constituent associations strongly recommend that school districts provide funding for ADA compliant new and replacement playgrounds, develop and implement policies for school recess that include unstructured outdoor play suitable for student with disabilities, and unstructured alternative play for inclement weather days, educate students on safe playground rules, ensure the safety of ADA compliant playgrounds and develop an adequate adult to student ratio.