Updates to District’s recess, PE and lunch requirements take effect in Fall 2021 (6/29/21)
Members of Fort Bend ISD’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) worked with FBISD Board members and administration to update the District’s Wellness Policy (FFA Local) with revisions to recess, physical education and lunch requirements that will go into effect on campuses in Fall 2021.
New recess guidelines ensure elementary students have the opportunity to participate in at least 30 minutes of recess daily, with a minimum of 20 minutes as unstructured physical activity. Outdoor recess will be offered when weather allows, otherwise staff and teachers will conduct recess indoors.
“According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, recess is a necessary break in the day for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,” FBISD SHAC Chair Melanie Anbarci said.
Middle school students will be given an opportunity to participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily or 225 minutes every two weeks for at least five semesters as part of the District’s physical education program.
In addition, the revised policy states that participation in physical activities during the required time may not be withheld as punishment unless approved by campus administration.
The new guidelines also ensure students have adequate time to eat meals at school. Mealtime schedules will be based on enrollment and cafeteria serving and seating capacities to minimize wait times and allow enough time to eat. Students will have the opportunity to eat breakfast for at least 10 minutes and lunch for a minimum of 20 minutes.
“Although certain campuses may already have some of these practices in place, we are thankful the Board recognizes the importance of formally incorporating best practices into the District’s Wellness Policy to ensure all FBISD students benefit,“ Anbarci said.
Next year, each campus will have a wellness committee to coordinate initiatives and help their campus stay in compliance with the revised Wellness Policy.
About FBISD’s Wellness Policy
FBISD’s Wellness Policy exists to develop a culture where students can reach their full potential in a climate that promotes students’ learning, leadership and well-being. Students shall be inspired and equipped with skills to make healthy life choices about nutrition, health and physical activity during their years in Fort Bend ISD and throughout their lives.
In the past, FBISD’s SHAC has worked with FBISD administration to update the Wellness Policy to national standards and include best practices. The final policy was approved by the Board in April.
The School Health Advisory Council was established by the Board of Trustees to assist the District in meeting its strategic objectives to provide healthy school environments for students, staff and community members and to teach and promote wellness through healthy lifestyles. The SHAC acts in an advisory capacity to the Superintendent and Board of Trustees.
Community members, parents and District staff who are interested in getting involved in school health and wellness policy programming can volunteer to join SHAC. For more information visit www.fortbendisd.com/SHAC or follow on Twitter @FBISD_SHAC.
The SHAC Virtual Healthy Schools (VHS) is an online, interactive collection of resources that provides examples of what a healthy school looks like, as well as health and wellness program information to help implement the Whole School, Whole Child model to create healthier campuses.