The Loudoun County School Board voted unanimously as part of its untested consent agenda Tuesday to approve a policy for short unstructured breaks in middle and high schools. Under the policy, those students will get a minimum of 10 minutes of unstructured break time every other day.
The action followed nine months of lobbying by a group of parents and students who touted research showing that providing breaks throughout the school day improves student performance, reduces discipline problems, and aids in overall physical and mental wellness.
The group, More Recess for Loudoun County, also worked with the School Board last year to double recess time in grades K-5.
“The need for breaks throughout the day doesn’t magically disappear when a child turns eleven years old,” Ian Serotkin, the leader of More Recess for Loudoun County who also is running for the Blue Ridge District seat on the School Board, said during at a recent school board meeting advocating for this change.
Recommendations on recess and unstructured breaks have been made by national expert agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and SHAPE America.