Well, hopefully, we're seeing winter's last gasp - the forecast is for some extremely cold temperatures in the next couple days! With that in mind, this is just a quick reminder that with bitter cold temperatures comes the need to send your children to school with appropriate winter clothing. If your child needs a particular piece of winter wear to stay warm in the cold weather, please be sure to connect with the counselor at your child's school - they will be happy to locate the right piece of winter wear in an age-appropriate size.
Of great importance is the need to ensure that our students who walk to school or wait at school bus stops are dressed appropriately (in addition to a warm jacket, please keep that head and those fingers covered!).
Our elementary schools often get calls about recess during especially cold weather. Parents often ask: When is it too cold for outdoor recess?
Recess is critically important to the mental and physical well-being of children. Whenever possible, we seek to have students playing outside for recess as a break from classroom-based and other indoor activities.
While there are no national or professional standards for cold temperatures that preclude sending children outside for recess, school districts often provide general guidelines based on their local weather. Ultimately, school districts give these guidelines to building principals who have decision-making authority as it pertains to outdoor recess. While students in states that experience especially cold temperatures (that is, in places where children are expected to be dressed appropriately for cold weather) may be sent out in extremely cold temperatures, students in Arizona or Florida may be kept in when the temperatures approach 40˚(F). Other factors, such as wind and precipitation, are always taken into account, but the primary consideration is always the safety of our students.
In Deer Park Schools, principals use the following general guidelines for decision-making related to recess:
- Regular outdoor recess will be held when outside air temperature and/or wind chill is 20° (F) or greater. The presence of rain or snowfall can influence this decision.
- Limited outdoor recess will be held when outside air temperature and/or wind chill is between 10° and 19° (F) - once again, the presence of precipitation or snowfall may influence the final decision.
- Indoor recess will be held when outside air temperature and/or wind chill is lower than 10° (F). Indoor recess is always an option when a principal decides that steady rainfall or heavy snowfall have created unsafe conditions.
- Whenever students are sent outside in cold temperatures, building staff watch for individual children who are not wearing appropriate clothing and may be at risk. In the event that a child does not have access to clothing necessary for cold temps or snow, our schools are able to help! Just let us the school office or school counselor know.