The 2019-20 winter has been rather mild, but it looks like significant snow accumulations and frigid temps are making their way back to the Pacific Northwest! This is just a quick reminder that with snow and freezing temperatures comes the need to send your children to school with proper winter clothing. Each year, DPSD runs a winter clothing drive where we collect coats, hats, mittens, and boots for kids of all ages. 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.
Obviously, living in the Pacific Northwest means that winter weather conditions can change daily, if not hourly. In the event that inclement weather should necessitate a delay in the start of school or the closing of all schools, we will continue to use our website and the SchoolMessenger system (phone and email) to quickly and conveniently share information with all families; of course, we will continue to inform local news agencies so that TV stations are able to broadcast accurate information. We work hard to keep the district website updated with up to the minute weather-related announcements. Please check back regularly when conditions are poor (and don’t forget to use your web browser’s “refresh” button to ensure you’re getting the latest information!).
Students who walk to school or wait at school bus stops should be dressed appropriately for cold temperatures and snowy conditions. If you have particular concerns regarding your child’s safety getting to or from school, please call the DPSD Transportation Dept. at 464-5530. Proper outerwear should include boots, hats, gloves or mittens, a warm coat and possibly even snow pants.
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 that 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 know.