The Case for Recess During COVID-19 Learning




Session Description

As students “return” to school under a variety of learning options, many students have experienced months of loneliness, family stress, anxiety, and often a lack of physical activity and social play. Schools have many academic and instructional decisions to make, but it is imperative that attention is focused on children’s social and emotional wellbeing.  Learning cannot occur if a child is not socially and emotionally balanced. It is vital for children to connect and heal through times of self-directed peer interaction and play at recess.  Through play at recess, children adjust to new routines and learning experiences, and can also feel reconnected. In this presentation, members of the Global Recess Alliance will share practices and policies to implement safe recess for inclusive, meaningful play.

Learning Objectives

    #1 Discuss demonstrated contributions of recess for students and teachers, prior to 2020.
    #2 Demonstrate a commitment to recess and play in the 2020-2021 learning environment.
    #3 Describe the components of an action plan for recess

About the Presenters

Cathy Ramstetter, PhD, CHES, FAFSA, School Health Consultant, Global Recess Alliance (she/her)
A Health Educator with an interest in child and school health, Dr. Cathy Ramstetter is a School Health Consultant with Successful Healthy Children, the non-profit she founded in 2015. In this role, she assists schools with wellness initiatives and is a recess researcher and advocate. Her aim is to protect recess for every child every day and to foster children’s healthy growth and development—intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. Since 2007, Cathy has served on the Ohio Chapter of the AAP’s Home and School Health Committee and is the co-author of AAP’s Policy on Recess with Dr. Bob Murray. She is currently conducting Action Research with a Cincinnati Public elementary school to explore and enhance the experience of meaningful play at recess (as of 3/15/2020, the study was suspended until the school leaders are ready for next steps).Cathy contributed to Ohio’s Health Education Model Curriculum as a member of the Safety & Violence Prevention Writing Team last year. She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the American School Health Association and also serves on the Board of DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Cincinnati. Dr. Ramstetter is an adjunct professor with The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences, teaching Health & Wellness in the RN-BSN program. In April 2020, Cathy was a founding member of the Global Recess Alliance, formed of academic leaders from the US, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, which guides schools to rethink policies and practices for recess time.
Debbie Rhea, EdD,  Associate Dean of Health Sciences & Research, professor of Kinesiology and founding director of The LiiNK ProjectTexas Christian University (she/her)

Dr. Rhea has been an educator for the past 40 years, the first 11 years in K-12 physical education and the last 29 years at the university level preparing physical education teachers and researching children through physical activity and play. She is an author, researcher, motivational speaker, educational consultant, and behavior change trainer. Her newest research project, LiiNK (Let’s inspire innovation ‘N kids), is moving schools to think differently about creating a whole child, whole teacher learning environment. Dr. Rhea has received national media attention as a result of LiiNK from many different news outlets such as The Today Show, the Washington Post, and the NBC Nightly News. She has published in numerous journals and presented professionally on many different topics related to living a healthy and productive life. Rhea has received the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar and a Healthcare Hero award from the Dallas Business Journal and the Fort Worth Business Press for her research to transform school policies and create intrinsically motivated active, healthy children and adults. Her newest book, “Wrong turns, Right moves in Education,” reflects why the policies and procedures representing LiiNK are needed in educational systems today.


Continuing Education

This presentation has been approved for the following continuing education units:

To receive credit, you must attend the session in its entirety and complete the session evaluation within 48 hours of the session conclusion.  As per board requirements, attendance will be taken at the beginning and end of the session.




Sep 24 2020


2:00 pm - 3:30 pm




(505) 266-3451