Recess? Yes! Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law HB1419/SB273 that gives local school divisions the flexibility to offer more recess to elementary school students. This law takes effect July 1 and allows school divisions to count up to 50 minutes of recess each day as instructional time.

Governor Ralph Northam

The signing of this law reverses the trend of limited or no recess time for students throughout the state. As a result of this legislation, elementary students, some who’ve never experienced recess, have the opportunity to reap the benefits of more recess.


Improves focus, attentiveness, cooperation, sharing, self-control, academic performance, and executive functions

Reduces fidgeting, combats childhood obesity and physiological problems, and activates the brain for learning

Provides outdoor time that reduces stress and anxiety and improves mental health, behavior, and problem-solving skills.

School divisions throughout the Greater Richmond Area have the opportunity to update their wellness policies to reflect this legislative change and to encourage elementary school administrators to include at least thirty minutes of recess time in their school schedules.