Date of Award

Fall 11-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Steve Bounds

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Mark Gotcher

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


Arkansas lawmakers enacted Act 641 of 2019, which increased recess time during the school day from 30 minutes to 40 minutes per day. Recess is defined as unstructured free play for students outside when possible. Recess is an important part of the school day. Recess improves social skills, time on task, positive attitudes towards school and increasing physical activity. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if increasing recess time for third, fourth and fifth grade elementary students had an impact on ACT Aspire tests results. This study was a quantitative study using a series of independent t-tests. The researcher compared the third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade student achievement scores in the content areas of Math and Reading from the 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019 school year. Scores were examined pre-increase recess time and post-increase recess time. The results indicated a statistically significant difference in the post-increase recess time but not practically significant. Two very important findings from this study were Math scores experienced increases after the implementation of Act 614 of 2019 in Arkansas, those increases were not statistically significant and even the ones that were statistically significant were not practically significant. Reading scores saw increases after the implementation of Act 614 of 2019, but there were no statistically significant increases found during the data analysis.