[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1501






Sponsored by:


District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)






†††† Requires a public school district to provide a daily recess period for students in grades kindergarten through 5.



†††† As amended by the Senate on March 18, 2013.


An Act concerning recess in public elementary schools and supplementing chapter 35 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.


†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


†††† 1.††† The Legislature finds and declares that:

†††† a.†††† Currently 16% of the nationís children are overweight, and an increasing number of children are developing cardiovascular risk factors and type 2 diabetes;

†††† b.††† The United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Education, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend that school-aged children should participate in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity;

†††† c.†††† Participation in a regularly scheduled recess period provides an opportunity for children to engage in essential physical activity and to establish healthy habits early in life;

†††† d.††† Recess also affords a child the opportunity to practice skills such as cooperation, communication, and creativity, and a break from the dayís routine improves attention, focus, behavior, and learning in the classroom; and

†††† e.†††† Because recess is such a vital component of a comprehensive school physical activity program and the total educational experience for elementary school students, it is therefore in the best interest of the elementary students in this State that they be provided with a daily recess period.


†††† 2.††† Beginning with the 1[2012-2013] 2013-20141 school year, a public school district shall provide a daily recess period of at least 20 minutes for students in grades kindergarten through 5.† 2The recess period shall be held outdoors, if feasible.2† The recess period shall not be scheduled immediately before or after the studentís physical education class 2[and no] .† A2 student shall 2not2 be denied recess 2[for any reason] , except as a consequence of a harassment, intimidation, or bullying investigation pursuant to P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37-13 et seq.).† A student may not be denied recess more than twice per week2.

†††† 1The recess period shall not be used to meet the course requirements set forth in N.J.S.18A:35-5.1


†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.