3 Things to Look Out For When Evaluating Recess

  1. Updates

Join us in achieving safe and healthy play for the kids at your school! Playworks has a free self-assessment for schools called the Recess Checkup—a three-minute quiz that will help you assess the current state of your recess. Based on your answers, you will receive tailored feedback to help you improve safety, engagement, and empowerment on your playground. Our primary concern is with the emotional and physical safety of students, as it is the baseline for healthy play. Engagement is the next measure—keeping kids engaged and involved in the games they play helps them build relationships and enjoy recess to the fullest. Last, but certainly not least, we look for opportunities to empower students through play to create a lasting healthy environment that helps them succeed in everything else they do in and out of school.

A coach models participation and a kid becomes a leader.

On average, Recess Checkup data shows that most schools in the Mid-Atlantic region need to improve safety on their playgrounds. This is our first focus when partnering with schools, as it is difficult for students to remain engaged and empowered when they do not feel safe. According to our Recess Checkup (RCU) data for this region—which includes DC, MD, and VA—we still have some work to do in the area of safety across all three states. While Virginia and Maryland have relatively successful safety rates with nearly half of respondents passing in that area, DC requires much improvement concerning safety, with only about a quarter of respondents passing the safety measure.

Kids learn lifelong leadership.


So, what can you do to improve recess at your school?  More specifically, how can your school’s recess improve at safety, engagement, and empowerment?  If you are a teacher or school administrator, take a few minutes and complete our Recess Checkup. It will ask you questions such as:

  • Are students and adults actively engaged in games during recess?
  • Is recess language positive and encouraging?
  • Are kids playing in a way that promotes emotional well-being?

After you complete the assessment, you will receive tailored feedback about your school’s strengths and tips for areas needing improvement.

Principals and teachers are invited to take the RCU between April 22–26. Teachers and principals who take the RCU during these dates will be automatically entered to win one of five PlayworksU subscriptions.* Learn more about PlayworksU here.

If you are a school district representative, please give us a call at 202.822.0097—we’d love to partner with you and work together to achieve safe and healthy play for your school district.

*See promotion rules here

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Want to support the play movement?  Check out these upcoming events!

Rock Paper Scissors Tournament on April 25, 2019

Kickball for Kids Tournament on June 8, 2019

More Updates

December 4, 2019

Oregon State University Study Finds High-Quality Recess Positively Impacts Student Behaviors ›

A recent study by the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Services found that high-quality recess contributes to the executive function, emotional self-control, resilience, and positive classroom behavior in elementary school children. While past studies explored the benefits related to the amount of recess time, this is the first study to address…

November 14, 2019

Playworks Mid-Atlantic’s Real Players Don’t Bully Event 2019 ›

  For the past two years, Playworks Mid-Atlantic has been teaming up with Google’s Be Internet Awesome campaign to work towards inclusivity and anti-bullying on the playground and the internet. Our Let’s End Bullying event was held in downtown Washington D.C. and consisted of a keynote given by John Gomperts of America’s Promise Alliance, as…

November 7, 2019

Give Kids the Childhood They Deserve ›

When kids feel included and supported at recess, they’re more likely to thrive in school and in life. Everyone deserves a chance to become the best possible version of themselves. Kids need us to make that possible for them.  Not all kids feel like they fit in at school. Feeling safe and like you belong is…