SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah’s public schools can now count recess as instructional time.  An adjustment to the current rules was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Utah State Board of Education.

Under Utah law, public schools must conduct school for at least 990 instructional hours over a minimum of 180 school days each academic year.

To protect the time, some schools feel pressure to cut recess time.  Now that will not be an issue.  Recess decisions and plans will be up to the District and individual schools.

Parents at the State Board of Education Meeting were excited for the decision, ensuring kids can play.  Ramie Best has children in the Alpine School District.  She said, “recess helps those kids come back ready to learn, but if you keep that kid in the classroom for hour after hour, it just drags them down until they stop focusing.”

The change will not impact the length of the school day, just the structure of recess. 

Breakfasts eaten in the classroom could also now count as instructional time.

The changes could go into place as early as this spring.

Read more about the guidelines here.

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