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Bedminster Township Public School: School Wide Recess Policy Needed

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The Ask:

We ask that Bedminster Township Public School adopt a recess policy for elementary and middle school students.

The Problem:

Schools are under pressure to fulfill academic and administrative requirements; as a result, recess has become less of a priority.  Further complicating matters, many schools struggle with limited budgets and lack the resources to support staffing and supervision required to add more recess.

However, mounting evidence shows physical activity provides cognitive, social and emotional benefits for children from kindergarten through high school.  A report from the CDC in 2010[1] stated that improving access to physical activities, (at least 60 minutes daily is the recommended level of physical activity) is linked to healthier students who are also better learners.  The same report went as far as saying that “There is substantial evidence that physical activity can help improve academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores.”

In order to enhance cognitive development, social and emotional well-being, and academic achievement, we ask the Administration and Board of Education to work together to implement a School wide kindergarten through 8th grade recess policy.  We can no longer look at recess as a privilege but a necessity. Recess must be an essential part of the curriculum because it will improve students’ academic performance and teach them life-long skills.

Why do we need a School wide Policy:

- Communicates and affirms the importance of recess.

- Creates consistency among grade levels and classrooms.

- Protects recess from cuts for additional instruction, or as a disciplinary measure.

Sources:

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The association between school based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/pa-pe_paper.pdf

Additional Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SHAPE America—Society of Health and Physical Educators. Strategies for Recess in Schools. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services;2017. Strategies for recess in school

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The association between school based physical activity, including physical
education, and academic performance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010. The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement, The Crucial Role of Recess in School, pediatrics.aappublications.org

Parker, Clifton B., School recess offers benefits to student well-being, http://news.stanford.edu/2015/02/11/recess-benefits-school-021115/

Rhea, Debbie, Why young kids need less class time — and more play time — at school, thewashingtonpost.com

Walker, Timothy D., How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play, theatlantic.com 



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