Superintendent: Pinellas elementary students to get recess

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego announced Tuesday elementary school children in the district will have at least 20 minutes of physical activity time every day. 

Students in Pinellas County elementary schools currently have physical education class three days a week. Dr. Grego's announcement would allow for 20 minutes of recess time on days physical education classes are not offered. 

"Not only do we believe that physical activity, whether it be recess or physical education conducted by certified physical education teachers, [who] do a tremendous job in our district, is important and we will, and we are now going to move toward in the following school year... recess or physical education in some form each and every day in the school district, at least by 20 minutes. And so we will expect all elementary schools to provide 20 minutes of recess on days they do not offer physical education," Dr. Grego said during the school board meeting Tuesday. 

The announcement comes as parents gathered in Tallahassee to lobby for a bill requiring 100 hours of physical activity for elementary-age students in the state. The bill unanimously passed the Florida House K-12 subcommittee. 

Dr. Grego went on to say the announcement is not a mandate, and he believes individual schools should still have some say on how to schedule free-play time for students in the 2016-2017 school year.