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School Recess Law Now in Effect



As of September 2019, New Jersey students in kindergarten through fifth grade have the right to daily recess in school. The law applies to all public and charter schools. It requires recess for at least 20 minutes a day, held outside when possible. Recess should not replace physical education or be used to meet the requirements of a physical education class. Schools are not required to hold recess on days when there are delayed openings or early dismissals.

Schools can deny recess as a consequence to a student who violates the student code of conduct, but cannot do so more than two times a week. For students who are denied recess, the school must provide alternate activities that support improved behavior. The goal of the activities should be to reduce the need for punishment in the future.   ​