Elementary Schools

Physical Education Requirement

Section 1003.455, Florida Statutes, was revised during the 2017 legislative session to include a state-level requirement for recess. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, students in grades K-5 are required to receive 100 minutes of unstructured, free-play recess each week so that there is a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes each day. Charter schools and full-time virtual students are exempt from the recess requirement.

The 100 minutes of recess are in addition to the 150 minutes of physical education that is required each week. The 100 minutes of recess is defined as supervised, safe and unstructured free play. The 150 minutes of physical education is standards-based instructional time.

The logistics of implementing the recess requirement will be determined by each local school district. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of master schedules, designation of spaces that will be utilized for recess and establishing weather guidelines to ensure student safety. This law does not specify the location where recess must be provided. The recess minutes could be provided indoors or outdoors as determined by local school district and/or individual school leadership.

Elementary Physical Education Waivers

Section 1003.455, Florida Statutes, requires 150 minutes each week of physical education for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. There are exceptions to this requirement. A student's performance on assessments and class work may require student enrollment in remedial or intervention courses instead of PE.

Also, a parent/guardian may request to waive the PE requirement if:

  • The parent requests that the student enroll in another course from among those offered as options by the school during their specials schedule.
  • The student is participating in physical activities outside the school day which are equal to or in excess of the mandated requirement.

Parents/guardians requesting a waiver for their child to be released from the PE requirement must complete a waiver form at their child's school on an annual basis.