Illinois Makes Recess Mandatory, It’s Been Missouri Law for Years
Growing up and going to Catholic School in the Chicago suburbs, recess at school was never a given. At the time I attended, recess seemed to be up to the teachers of whatever grade you were in. It seemed some years we had recess. Others we didn't. So when I saw the Illinois legislature passed a bill making recess mandatory, I was interested. I also wondered what Missouri law said.
According to KMOX radio, if Governor J.B. Pritzker signs the bill Illinois public school students in Kindergarten through fifth grade will receive 30 minutes of recess every day. The bill was sponsored by sponsored by Sen. Robert Peters and Rep. Aaron Ortiz, who like me didn't have recess as young students. Opponents of the bill worry that the mandatory recess will cut into art and music class.
Missouri's had a recess law for just over a decade. Missouri's law says:
A minimum of one recess period of twenty minutes per day shall be provided for children in elementary schools, which may be incorporated into the lunch period.
Additionally recess is defined as, "A structured play environment outside of regular classroom instructional activities, where students are allowed to engage in supervised safe active free play."
Illinois law will only impact younger elementary school kids, and Missouri's law covers all elementary students.
Aside from giving kids a break from classes. There are also plenty of lessons to be learned during recess. Sportsmanship, confidence, standing up for yourself, getting along with others, friendship and more. I'm glad it's the law in Missouri, and hope it becomes law in Illinois.