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November 5, 2012 
To:  Administration of Still Elementary School 

We, the undersigned, current and future parents and caregivers of students at Still Elementary School, taxpayers and residents of Cobb County, petition Still Elementary to adopt into the curriculum a scheduled time for all students in kindergarten and grades one through five to have a daily recess period consisting of at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured activity time outdoors.

Cobb County District Administrative Rules EEE-R Wellness Program, section B Physical Activity Goals are as follows:


The primary goal for each school’s physical activity component is to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, and understand the short- and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle. Thirty to sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activities daily for all students K-12 shall be encouraged.


 Related Cobb County District Administrative Rules IDBC-R for Physical Education, read as follows:

A.   Instruction 5. Preservation of Class Time: a. Physical education will not be withheld from students as a form of punishment or as a means to provide additional instructional time.

b. Physical activity or recess will not be withheld regularly from students as a form of punishment.

6. Physical Activity: a. Students should be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of before- during and/or after-school programs including recess, intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs and related community activities.

b. Physical activities that expose students to rhythm, balance, cross lateral activities, and activities that make the heart beat faster can have positive impacts on a students’ academic success and should be incorporated into physical education programs where appropriate.

c. Recess, while separate and distinct from physical education, supports the District’s physical activity and movement philosophy. The District encourages classroom teachers, parents/guardians and community members to provide opportunities for students to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity daily where appropriate.


 4. Cold Weather Guidelines:

 When the outside temperature or wind chill factor is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, school staff should take students outside no longer than 15 minutes. Students should wear appropriate clothing.


 Still Elementary Administrators should establish policies to ensure the above guidelines are instituted and followed by the teachers of all Still Elementary classes, for the purpose of providing Still students with a meaningful break in their academic day. 

We support this petition for the following reasons: 

1. That a growing number of classrooms at Still Elementary no longer have daily recess; 
2. That children become progressively inattentive when deprived of a significant break or recess; 
3. That periodic mental breaks have been shown to improve memory; 
4. That research has shown that children, especially those with attention deficit disorder, are more on task and less fidgety after a break or recess; 
5. That, according to several new studies, students who had daily recess, outdoor activities or other play opportunities were better behaved than their counterparts and more able to concentrate -- even if they have ADHD -- than their peers; 
6. That research shows that children are active 59 percent of the time during recess; 
7. That children who are inactive in school also tend to be inactive after school; 
8. Today, one in four children in America is obese, increasing the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type II diabetes. Low activity is considered a cause of obesity; 
9. That while several studies suggest that test scores either stay the same or slightly increase when a break is provided, there is no research that supports that providing breaks lowers test scores; 
10. That it is appropriate for daily scheduled breaks to come from already mandated instructional hours. Federal labor regulations state that breaks 'promote the efficiency of the employees and are customarily paid for as working time. They must be counted as hours worked'; 
11. That the addition of recess will create opportunities for children to build social, negotiation, and creative play skills that are critically important for overall development; and 
12. That daily recess will give students opportunities to apply the skills they are learning in physical education and will support the fitness testing in Georgia schools. 

We, the undersigned, petition Still Elementary to adopt into the curriculum a scheduled time for all students in kindergarten and grades one through five to have a daily recess period consisting of at least 15 minutes of supervised, unstructured physical activity time, preferably outdoors.  As you will note in the Cobb County District Administrative rules above, IDBC-R, B4, Safety Cold Weather Guidelines, weather under 40 degrees does not require students to stay inside.  It requires that school staff take students out, but only for 15 minutes or less.  Georgia weather rarely is so cold as to prevent children from outdoor play.

Thank you.


Caren Culpepper


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