Roanoke County discussing extending recess time

Principals meet Tuesday and will be talking about the idea

By Jenna Zibton - Anchor

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - Roanoke County is talking about extending recess time for elementary schools. It's in the discussion phase right now, according to a school spokesperson.

Principals are meeting Tuesday and will be talking about the idea. The decision would possibly have to go before the school board.

Local parents are behind the idea.

Allison Bowersock started up a Facebook group called "More Recess for the Roanoke Valley." She wants to see more time for kids to play outside and says data points to improved test scores, attention, mood and self-esteem.

"For some kids being at home it's not safe to go outside and play so it's really ideal that they would get some type of recess and play most at school because it is supervised and it's in an environment where they're learning and we know physical activity does facilitate learning," said Bowersock.

Right now, Roanoke County elementary students get about 30 minutes of recess a day, which does not include PE time.

The new Virginia recess law that took effect in July allows school boards to include unstructured recreational time that is intended to develop teamwork, social skills and overall physical fitness.  

Bowersock hopes schools will have 40 to 50 minutes a day.

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