House approves bill to require 15 minutes of recess in all public schools

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Legislation that would require public schools statewide to schedule at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured free play time of recess for grades kindergarten through fifth was approved by the House in a 66 to 28 vote. Houma Representative Beryl Amedee says under this legislation no special accommodations are required.

“The fifteen minutes should be able to be found in any school day the bill would not require an increase in the hours of the day the children are at school so this is  not an unfunded mandate.”

A recent study finds 89 percent of schools in Louisiana currently have recess and 56 percent offer more than 15 minutes of recess for students according to The Status of Health and Physical Education in Louisiana Public. Amedee says the numbers are encouraging, however…

“But there were eleven percent of schools that offered no recess at all. So this bill would only affect eleven percent or less of schools.”

The bill would allow recess not to be counted toward the minimum of 360 instructional minutes required each school day. Amedee says recess time would be beneficial for their social and emotional well-being.

“And the recess being unstructured time also lets their brains recover so that when they get back to the classroom they learn better.”

The bill heads to the Senate.

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