Let’s all together strike two huge thumbs up to the Rochester City School District for adding a clause to their new Student Behavior Resource Manual that bans recess being taken away as a form of punishment.

Recess is important. It gives children a chance to play, be active, learn better, and time to recharge during the day. In some cases, kids do not have the safe space outside to play. Often, the only chance for them to play comes during school hours.

Last spring parents shared their concerns with us that recess was being taken away from their children as a form of discipline. Healthi Kids over the last year has been working with the district to inform and encourage them to find a solution to this problem. A district wide solution provides an equal opportunity to all students to have the time for play during the school day. 

Responding to parents, Healthi collected best practices to let the district know other districts across the country have banned recess being taken away as a form of punishment. In the winter, we were asked to join the team updating the RCSD discipline policy. Armed with parent input, national best practice, and research supporting our case, we advocated for a change. After sharing our research, the district agreed and changed their policy.

The district now has a policy that says it cannot take away recess as a form of punishment. 

Healthi  Kids would like to thank and applaud the Rochester City School District for recognizing the important role recess plays in the academic, social, emotional and physical development of every child. The elimination of recess as a disciplinary tool is an important step to ensure every kid in the district receives the benefits of daily physical activity and unstructured play time!