Policy Details Page

Policy No. 2146

The Board of Directors believes that it is a good educational practice to enable a daily break period for elementary-age children. Evidence has shown that such a break period contributes significantly to the educational, health and social development of children. A break from the daily routine contributes to alertness in people of all ages, particularly young children. Providing respite is highly compatible with brain research and attention span in children. Analysis of research findings also consistently concludes that physical activity supports learning.

School recess activities also develop social skills and social interactions of children. It is recognized that children in today's world are engaging in more solitary activities with electronic devices and games. Organized sports may provide teaming opportunities for some, but fewer chances exist in open settings and less-structured social interactions. Recess contributes to activities that can help develop skills in conflict resolution, leadership, social interaction, and group play.

Evidence is clear that our children face increasing health risks. Childhood obesity is increasing as a major threat to our children. Inactivity is contributory to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. While there is no guarantee that all children will be active during recess periods, data reflect that elementary children engage in vigorous physical activity during recess—perhaps exceeding physical education classes.

Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Board of Directors that every elementary child will, to every extent appropriate, have a daily opportunity for recess in addition to the daily lunch/recess period.

The superintendent is directed to develop guidelines for the implementation of this policy. Such recess shall be supervised but shall largely consist of unstructured playtime. Scheduling shall be conducted at the school and classroom level. Withholding of physical education class, recess, and/or other forms of physical activity as punishment or in lieu of completing other academic work is discouraged. Occasional loss of recess may occur, but repeated loss overtime is not acceptable.

Cross References:

  • Board Policy 2100 Instructional Program Offerings
  • Board Policy 4260 Use of School Facilities 

Legal References:

  • RCW 28A.230.040 Physical Education – Grades 1-8
  • RCW 28A230.050 Physical Education in High School
  • RCW 28A.235 Surplus or Donated Food Commodities For School Hot Lunch Programs
  • RCW 28A.235.120 Lunchrooms – Establishment and Operation – Personnel for – Agreement for
  • RCW 28A.235.130 Milk for children at school expense
  • RCW 28A.623.020 Nonprofit Meal Program for Elderly -- Authorized – Restrictions Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, and Poisons
  • RCW 69.06.010 Food Service Worker Permit
  • RCW 69.06.020 Permit Exclusive and Valid Throughout State – Fee
  • RCW 69.06.030 Diseased Persons – May Not Work – Employer May Not Hire
  • RCW 69.06.050 Permit to be Secured within Fourteen Days from Time of Employment Limited Duty Permit
  • WAC 180-50-135 Physical Education – Grade School and High School Requirement
  • WAC 180-51-085 Physical Education Requirement – Excuse 7 CFR, Parts 210 and 220 7 CFR, Part 245.5

Management Resources:

  • Policy News, December 2004 Nutrition and Physical Fitness Update

Adoption Date: 09/25/08

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