Petitioning Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti and 8 others

Recess for DCPS

We are here to restore recess in our schools. Time allocated to recess has been taken away for academic instruction and testing. Recess is an indispensable component to a child's education because it promotes their "social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development." (American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on School Health. The crucial role of recess in school. Pediatrics. 2013). The role of recess has long been understood and supported by years of extensive empirical evidence about what children need to thrive and succeed in their academic pursuits. Failing to provide it undermines what our schools are trying to achieve. 

We the undersigned current and future parents and caregivers of students in the Duval County Public School System (DCPS), taxpayers, and residents of Duval County, do hereby petition the School Board of Duval County Public Schools and Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti to mandate a daily scheduled time for all students in Pre-kindergarten through grade 5 to have at least 20 consecutive minutes of supervised, safe, and unstructured free-play recess per day, 5 days per week, preferably outdoors (weather permitting). Free-play recess shall not be withheld for academic or punitive reasons. Free-play recess shall not replace nor be a substitute for physical education.

Specifically, we petition the Superintendent to recommend and for the School Board to adopt a formal Recess Policy. The language should read: “Recess for students in grades PK-5 shall consist of 100 minutes of weekly safe, supervised, unstructured free-play recess so that there are at least 20 consecutive minutes of free-play recess per day. Free-play recess shall not be withheld for academic or punitive reasons." The DCPS Superintendent and School Board shall ensure strict compliance with this Policy and provide specific guidance to school administration on the implementation and enforcement of the Policy.

Recess. In every school. In every classroom. For every elementary student. Every day.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Superintendent
    Nikolai P. Vitti
  • Duval County School Board
  • School Board Member
    Cheryl Grymes
  • School Board Member
    Scott Shine
  • School Board Chairman
    Ashley Smith Juarez
  • School Board Vice Chairman
    Paula D. Wright
  • School Board Member
    Constance S. Hall
  • School Board Member
    Becki Couch
  • School Board Member
    Warren Jones

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