Recess Before Lunch

Recess Before Lunch Timeline

Elementary Schools Implement Recess Before Lunch  

In Tahoma, elementary schools began scaling up recess before lunch based on a pilot at Shadow Lake Elementary in 2016-2017.  Survey results from staff, parents, and students supporting the scale up to the other elementary schools with transition in Fall 2017.  Full implementation at all schools is impacted by school schedule, lunchroom capacities, and multi-use space needs across the day.  Periodic updating of the school board will happen as scale up and implementation continues at each school.    

Why recess before lunch? Students who go to recess after lunch are often thinking ahead to recess and rush to finish their lunch rather than taking the time to eat a well-balanced meal. When recess is before lunch, students:

  • eat more; waste less food

  • consume more food and nutrients

  • drink more milk
  • behave better on the playground, in the cafeteria, and in the classroom

  • eat at a more leisurely pace because the cafeteria atmosphere is more relaxed

  • are more ready to learn upon returning to the classroom immediately after lunch, so less instructional time is lost

  • perform better in the classroom because of increased nutrient intake and focused attention

  • fewer visits to the school nurse
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