RecessChicago Public Schools as well as many other organizations, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Education, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, view recess as a vital component of a child's physical, social, and academic development. Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, elementary schools will provide students with daily recess.


The addition of recess to the elementary school day reflects the District's commitment to children's health and recognizes the critical role that schools can play in fostering lifelong habits of healthy eating and sustained physical activity. Providing opportunities for physical activity during the day, such as recess for elementary school students, increases the likelihood for children to be successful in school.


Benefits of recess

Recess provides an opportunity for physical activity, fosters an enjoyment of movement and exercise, and aids social development. Studies have found daily recess can enhance cognitive skills, reduce behavioral problems, and increase attention and concentration in the classroom. Recess also facilitates stress reduction, supports learning outside the classroom, and offers a break from instruction.


Recess at our schools

Check out recess at STEM Magnet Academy Opens in a new window icon


In the news



Questions or thoughts about recess? Please email



Contact information

Student Health & Wellness
125 South Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (773) 553-5301
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