CSO - Recess

Catholic Schools Onward

Best Practices and New Opportunities as We Move Forward


(Please note that as current information becomes available this page will be updated – 08.11.2020.)

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Recess is an important part of a child’s school day. A safe and healthy recess promotes time to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

During recess, students learn and practice important social and emotional skills, such as conflict resolution, decision- making, compromise, and self-regulation. Additionally, recess provides a needed brain break and facilitates the learning process.  With this in mind, the following procedures will be put in place to insure our students have a safe recess.


To  the best extent possible, recess will continue applying safe physical contact of equipment and social distancing. The term “social distancing” refers to measures being taken to restrict where and when people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious disease. In general, six feet of separation is the distance that should be kept between people interacting within their peers. Games that utilize physical and social activities, yet limit physical contact will be played.



  1. Students will go to recess using the procedures established in school operations regarding movement between the building.
  2. Students will wash/sanitize their hands before going to recess and before returning to class.
  3. Students should wear masks  while at recess with their cohort and look for playing socially distant activities,
  4. Equipment will be wiped down before each recess.
  5. Games and activities used during recess will be pre-approved as part of the safe list for limiting the spread of infectious disease.
  6. Students will wash/ sanitize their hands before returning to class.
  7. Practice social distancing while walking to recess.
  8. Use pre-approved activities. 

Other Considerations Regarding These Type of Activities

  1. Minimize contact sport engagement during recess to ensure social distancing. Games that have natural social distancing, such as kick ball jump rope are good choices. Games that require close physical contact and grabbing are not suggested (such as Football and Basketball). Other source for socially distant games can be found at https://www.asphaltgreen.org/blog/rep-it-out-games-for-social-distancing.
  2. Allocate separate bins of equipment for each class, to be used only during recess; clean equipment between recess periods.
  3. Do not allow children to bring equipment from home unless it can be cleaned appropriately before use.
  4. Offer a variety of outside spaces where free choice of different activities can take place, including quiet, creative, and solo activity spaces.
  5. Mark out ‘zones’ to reduce the number of children who are in contact with each other and shared equipment.
  6. Weather permitting, PE class held in outside space. Weather non-permitting, PE in the Gymnasium is preferred, PE class in classroom if needed and in a single cohort.
  7. It is preferred that students are carrying personal water bottles for hydration before, during and after activity.
  8. Class equipment should be sanitized frequently (arrange class times to allow for buffer between classes to allow teacher to facilitate moving, washing and sanitizing).
  9. When equipment sanitizing is not feasible, consider quarantining used equipment for 3 days or more before being used again.
  10. Limit shared items or keep same groupings throughout lessons.
  11. Consider tracking the use of equipment.
  12. Whenever possible, use social distancing activities and face coverings when social distancing is not possible.
  13. Considerations should be discussed between Physical Educators and school health officials for students with respiratory disorders or any other pertinent disorders (immunodeficiency, etc.).

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