Utah PTA Views Physical and Mental Health as Key to Student Success

When it comes to the success of Utah students, Utah PTA values student learning and academic benchmarks. We also believe the health and well-being of the whole child is important.

We recognize daily physical fitness is an essential component of student health and well-being. It is the position of National PTA and Utah PTA that recess is a key component to enhancing student academic achievement and cognitive functioning. Children who engage in more physical activity have better physical and mental health, and they experience better socialization and overall social development. We support at least one period of recess for at least 20 minutes for each elementary student every day, and we oppose the denial of recess as a disciplinary measure for academic reasons or inappropriate classroom behavior.

Utah PTA supports the inclusion of physical education in the core curriculum of student education, including concepts of cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, endurance and nutrition. We acknowledge the importance of nutrition in student health. Utah PTA encourages its associations to work with schools, school boards and other appropriate bodies to encourage schools to develop strong wellness policies and practice principles of sound nutrition for all food and beverages made available to students.

We believe that the mental health of Utah students is of paramount importance. We support policies that provide mental health services to all children and youth, including school-based mental health interventions and preventative measures. We believe early intervention is crucial, and that family engagement is key. We encourage schools to provide the necessary resources to ensure adequate ratios of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses to provide school-based mental health services to those in need.

For more information about our views on health and wellness, please see these links:

https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/pta's-positions/Individual-PTA-Resolutions/Resolution-on-School-Recess
http://www.utahpta.org/files/docs/HEA%202017-1%20Nutrition%20and%20Exercise.pdf