The Status of School Recess in Texas School Districts
For students, recess serves as a break in the day for brains to relax and bodies to recharge. Students with recess are happier, healthier, and more focused. This time, often short, brings joy to many school children and teachers alike, yet its presence in a daily school schedule is not guaranteed.
Currently, there is no mandate in Texas around school recess, but rather, the minutes for recess should follow guidelines set by the district’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC). While SHACs across Texas have worked to stabilize school recess minutes, it is widely acknowledged by education leaders across the state that school recess is consistently being shortened or removed entirely. With generous support from the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation, CHILDREN AT RISK set out to gather both quantitative and qualitative data to determine 1) if there are recess policies in place, 2) how recess is being implemented, and 3) to identify potential obstacles to keeping daily recess in schools.
The benefits of school recess are strongly supported by research, but there is a lack of recognition by school districts regarding the role recess plays in education. In hopes of creating awareness, this report will analyze the research, illustrate the current policies in school districts in Texas, and offer recommendations to move the needle forward on increasing the prevalence of recess in schools.
To learn more about the importance of school recess and the state of current policies in Texas, check out the full report below.