How cold is cold?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by punchinello, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    I'm writing up my beginning of the year letter to parents. I want to mention that we go outside every day, so to dress children accordingly. We'll only stay inside if it is ____degrees or lower....
    What is your cut-off temperature for playing outside with your classes? Should I say 25 degrees, 20? 30?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 27, 2009

    It really depends on where in the country you are. What's cold in Florida is warm in Minnesota or Maine.
     
  4. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    I know in our area of NJ our District does not let them have outdoor recess based on the windchill, no less than 32 degrees. How did we ever grow up playing outside in 20 degree weather when we were kids?? LOL!
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Is there a school policy? I'm in NJ as well with a school policy similar to teacher333 although I know there were days this past winter where it was warmer than the school's cut-off temp and they still stayed in...
     
  6. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    I agree- it really depends on the area of the country! When I taught in AK, the cut off was -20 below (with windchill). In WI, it has been 0 at one school and -10 at another.
     
  7. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

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    At my center the cutoff is 32 degrees.
     
  8. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    wow at my school it was anything below 50. But we have so many kdids who wear shorts and no jackets to school during winter.
     
  9. mrsdixon

    mrsdixon New Member

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    Here in the Great White North....

    I'm in Northern Michigan, and our rule of thumb is 10 degrees including wind chill. If the children do not have winter coats, snow pants, hats, gloves, and boots they don't get to play.
     
  10. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Our cut off temperature in the winter is we aren't supposed to go outside if it is below freezing; 32 degrees.

    There was a letter sent home to our parents this summer that said thay we wouldn't go outside if the temperature was above 85 degrees. We pointed out to our directors that if that was the temperature that she selected then there was a chance we wouldn't be able to go outside all summer. We think that temperature will be changed soon.

    I understand that schools have to set those policies which means setting a specific temperature. However, I find it insulting. When I read the letter sent home to the parents this summer, the cynical side of me interpreted as the following:

    Dear Parents,

    Since your child's teacher doesn't have enough common sense to know when they should bring a child in from the heat, we are selecting an arbitrary temperature that will tell the teachers when it's appropriate to go outside.

    :D
     
  11. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    I agree with the other posters, this will depend on your location. When I worked in Michigan it was anything below 10 degrees and we had to stay inside, in Boston it was anything below 20, and here in TX the parents throw a fit if we go out when it's below 55. Our school nurse determines when we can go out when it's hot depending on the ozone alerts (air quality).
     
  12. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Our school policy is that we have to stay inside if it is below 32 including the windchill.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Our policy is that we go out unless it dips below 20 including wind chill. Temps are determined at time of recess and if there is a raise in temp a recess may still begin. We are in Eastern Washington, so it isn't too dramatic here---but we do have all four seasons.

    However, I don't tell parents the cut off in my handouts. More than one time I have been told by parents they don't send items of winter gear so that I can't go outside. We have a lending library of winter items that are washed between users. We use this to get them ready to go out if we have too.
     
  14. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Our cutoff is 20 degrees.

    Like Wa Provider, we have an extra supply of things that we loan to kids and we ask that parents leave certain things at school like snowboots, hats, gloves, snowpants to ensure they're there when the child needs them.
     
  15. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    LOL
    You Michigan/Wisconsin people are tough cookies!
    Thanks for all the responses...interesting about the below 50 mark in the southern states.
    WaProvider, your parents don't want the kids outside?

    I won't put a cut off number. Better to explain at back-to-school night about the common sense idea. :)
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Real Feel of 35 degrees or lower and we stay in. Parents never dress their kids warm enough.
     
  17. reverie

    reverie Companion

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    Our cutoff in Minnesota was below 0 as well.
     
  18. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I can't figure out why they would want them to not go outside-but I think it is about controlling the decision. In our area you can occasionally get away with not wearing a winter coat (the parka kind) and just skimp through on jackets. We have winter, but we are a coastal state so it isn't tough winter. Then the parents are looking at expense---perhaps.

    Na, i think it was just that we told them what we would do and they wanted to "choose for us".
     
  19. janney

    janney Cohort

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    How times have changed, I remember always going outside in the winter no matter how cold it was.

    Unless your school has an official temperature, I wouldn't put one in the letter. I would just say something like, "In case of extreme weather, we will have recess indoors." In the winter, depending on wind and the amount of clouds, 0 degrees could feel warmer than 32. Also, you won't have to worry about parents upset because you took their child out when it was 29 and you said you wouldn't if it was below 30.
     
  20. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    I live in Montana. We have been known to have snow 10 months out of the year. My husband and I were married in June of '01 and the day after our wedding, we got 18 inches of snow. In January of this year, I believe, we had a couple of days when the windchill was close to -80 degrees. My husband told me that he can never remember a time when the schools closed here due to inclement weather - i.e. no snow days. We have gone outside to play at very cold times, not for long, but long enough for the kids to run off some energy. I believe our policy states that we won't go out if it is below 20 degrees F. I am almost positive that the big kids (5-12 graders) went outside this year when it was around zero. We have really heavy coats, long johns, wool socks, gloves, hats, and scarves though. We keep the kids safe, but where I live it is always cold! Even now it is getting up in the 70's during the day, but the low tonight is 35. So, if you didn't go outside when it is cold here, you would never go out. :0) With my K-students though, we generally go to the gym in the harsh winter months, excluding of course when we make our snowmen! (As a side note, on a few of the first days back to school after Christmas break, I had to leave a half hour early for a week or so, because it was so cold that I had to rescrape my windshield numerous times on the way to work. My children HATED these days. The heater never even attempted to warm up, it was like the car said: "Why Try?" :lol:)
     
  21. PreK111

    PreK111 Rookie

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    I'm enjoying reading all your responses! I live close to San Antonio TX where the temperature the last 2 weeks has been over 100 degrees with real feel approximately 5-10 degrees higher. We don't have a set rule about when to stay in during winter months. Our winter is like teacherSMK's summer! :) I agree with janney. If there is no written policy at your school, don't make one.
     
  22. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I too live (well until tomorrow) close to San Antonio. Our policy at my old school was below 32 and we couldn't go outside. I think maybe a few times we had heat advisories a few years ago, but I am not sure what the temp was for that. Not sure what the policy is for my new school. Adding it to my list of questions though.
     
  23. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I teach in MD and our rule is 32 degrees, with wind chill.

    That may seem positively balmly to people in North Dakota, though, or downright cruel to people in Florida, so you need to take that into consideration.
    Kim
     
  24. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    10 degrees or above here in N. Illinois. The teachers complain alot more than the kids.
     
  25. preschoolheart

    preschoolheart Rookie

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    At my school we go out everyday (unless the playground is simply too icy to be safe or it's pouring down rain so hard that we will have to change every single child upon coming in). However, on very, very cold days we simply spend less time outside (maybe as little as 10-15 mins compared to our usual 60). This is in Washington, DC so we rarely get much below 30 degrees anyway. We have a large supply of extra mittens, hats, coats, and boots, so if children don't come dressed for the weather we can get them ready. That said, our parents are told from day 1 that we go out every day, and they must send their child to school with appropriate clothing.
     
  26. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    We were talking about temperature policies last week. Although, for us, it's usually more of the heat end vs. cold.

    Our director feels it's best for us to make the decision. We'll usually try to go out every morning in the winter, and if it's colder we'll cut outside time short. Of course, we're in an area with pretty much no snow, ever.

    In the summer months, the teachers will stick their heads out the door to see what it feels like. What is "ok" sometimes varies on how riled up the kids are!
     
  27. Terri in CA

    Terri in CA Rookie

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    Here in CA our winters (at least in my part of the state) are very mild. We usually keep them inside in the winter if it is below 30. On hot days if it is above 90 we have to think about air quality before we send them out at lunch time. It drives me crazy how in the winter kids will come to school in shorts and no jacket and the poor thing is freezing on the playground. Of course we have extra coats and such, but some of the parents never send a coat! Then now that the weather is in the 100's we are pulling teeth to get the kids to bring hats. This summer we bought all the kids little bucket hats to wear. Parents think we can just keep them in like that were at home or something. We have even had parents request to have their 1 child stay inside all day! Fortunately the parent was understanding when we explained how important it was for their child to play outside every day.
     
  28. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Our parents play the same game. It is too windy, too humid, too hot, too cold ---tooo everything. The children play videos and computer and watch tv at home as well. Sometimes I think school is the only place they go outside.

    This is why we keep hats, keep the bottle of sunscreen and the forms on file to apply it....we don't need the hats so much due to the fact we have a huge tree.
     
  29. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Oh my gosh...isn't that the truth??? It makes me angry sometimes to hear the teachers talk about that.
     
  30. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    WaProvider, our school's policy is that if your child is too sick to go outside, then they're too sick to be at school. Period. It stops a lot of the comments about "She's got a runny nose today, I'd prefer that she stay inside."

    We also ask parents to bring in raincoats, rainboots to go outside in the rain (as long as it's not thundering or lightning) and sunscreen in the summertime.

    I agree....sometimes school is the only time these kids go outside and they LOVE it.
     
  31. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    19 degrees --including the wind chill----and we have a wind chill and frost bite chart w can reference
     
  32. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    oh my, I can't imagine taking kids out when it's raining. we are not allowed to do that. But then again I don't know if I've ever seen a child at school with a raincoat or rain boots.

    Of course, there also isn't in way in --- I would go out in 10 degrees. But on the reverse, we go out no matter how high the temp. If it's a bad ozone day we will cut recess short. but our recess is only 10 minutes anyway.
     
  33. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Nostalgia

    I do remember playing outside (and having lots of fun) in bad weather as a child, but each year our school seems to get fussier about when the kids can be outside.
     

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