How cold is too cold to go to recess?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Loves the beach, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    At our school, the rule used to be 35 degrees or lower. Now that we have a different principal, there is no rule. I was just told that if a child complains of being cold, I must give him/her the option of going inside to sit with a teacher during recess. My grade level team usually checks the wind-chill and checks to see how many students have brought coats, hats, gloves, etc. We make our decisions from there.

    So today it was 48 degrees. All children had coats, and many had hats, gloves, extra layers of clothing, etc. We went outside for about twelve minutes just to run around and get some energy out. A few kids chose to stay inside. No one on the playground complained of being cold.

    One of the teachers who had recess duty today was very upset that we went out. (She never complained until we were going inside.) I don't think it was too cold (for twelve minutes). With kids bundled up and running around, I thought all seemed just fine.

    Just curious. What are the rules at your school? Or do you just make decisions on a day-to-day basis? This is often a tough call to make.
     
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  3. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    The teacher with recess duty was cold and didn't want to go outside that's why she thought it was too cold.

    Where I grew up we went outside for recess regardless of how cold it was but we also wore the appropriate clothing for winter. If I have kids without warm jackets, gloves, hats, etc., then it becomes a judgment call for me.
     
  4. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    She also complains about EVERYTHING!!! And never voices her opinion until it's too late!
     
  5. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Nov 12, 2013

    My school doesn't have a rule, but I usually check my phone and if its above 45 and we all have jackets and such, we go out, even if for 10 minutes, especially if they are being wiggly.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Our students are outside for an hour every day (20 minutes at morning recess, and 40 minutes after eating lunch). I'm not sure of the official "rule", but we tend to have shortened outdoor or indoor recesses once the temperatures, with windchill, dip below -20C (-4F).

    If we stayed inside for below 45F, we'd be inside for months!
     
  7. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    It doesn't stay that cold here in winter, but I agree. If we only went out when it was warm, we'd never get recess except for August, September, April, and May.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Us too, MrsC!

    I had bus duty today (five minutes total from bell to bell). I thought it was cold (about 30), but the kids seemed content. Many were walking or biking home.
     
  9. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    When I taught in IL it was 32 degrees. The P made the call.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It usually does not get cold enough to require more than a light jacket here...but this year we are not allowed to have recess...so it doesn't matter anymore.
     
  11. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I don't think we have a rule. In this area, wind chill is often a factor.

    I would think the 40s are warm.

    When I was a kid, they closed school if the actual temperature was below 5F, with or without windchill. That's too cold to be outside, in my opinion.
     
  12. Math

    Math Cohort

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    For me anything below 60 is cold. So if you took me out in 40 degree weather... I would die.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I think you'd likely survive the cold :lol:!

    We had an unplanned fire drill today (one of our kinders pulled the alarm). It was below freezing and snowing off and on. We were outside for over 10 minutes without jackets waiting until the fire department arrived and gave us the all-clear. We all survived!
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm in Colorado and I hear people say something to the effect of, "We live in Colorado, suck it up!" constantly. We go out in freezing weather, rain, snow, gale force winds, you name it. I am SO grateful that I don't have recess duty this year- this is the first year I haven't had it! At my first school in the mountains we literally did not have indoor recess EVER. It was literally -15 and snowing really hard one day and we went out. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts when I asked why we weren't staying in. The teachers would freak out at the possibility of staying in because "kids need to run around." Now that I'm in the city it's not quite that crazy but I think it would have to be in the low teens plus lots of wind/snow for them to consider inside recess.

    Growing up in OH we never went out if it was below freezing or there was snow on the ground. My CO friends think it's hilarious when I tell them that.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    We go out until it's frigid! I think once the temps start approaching -30C (-22F) the we have shorter recesses and anything colder than -30C we stay in. We all dress for it and everyone is safe. It's just what you're used to. If we stayed in for anything colder than -20C (-4F) we wouldn't go out from December - February.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Waterfall, what part of OH did you grow up in? I was in NE OH and can't remember any indoor recesses unless it was raining. I remember bitter cold though!
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Cincinnati :). We literally did not go out for anything in snow. I had no idea how to drive in snow when I first moved here as schools were always closed if anything stuck to the roads. My dad e-mailed me last year about "being slammed with 2 inches of snow" and he was 100% serious. It became the running joke at my school last year every time we got flurries. Several times it would be declared a "level 3 snow emergency" (which I thought was statewide, but may have been by county if you haven't experienced it) where schools and non-essential businesses are legally required to close. This happened a lot in college where we got some snowier years, and that was more in central OH.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    No outdoor recess if it is 32 degrees or below. Teachers don't have recess duty, thank goodness. I hate to be cold.
     
  19. chawoonshasha

    chawoonshasha New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013

    We don't have any rules. just we have some recommendations. Kind of... if it's below 0 celcious, It would be better not to go outside. so, it means that kind of problem you have is not big deal for my school.
    I think, there should be judgement call in your school.

    (I'm working at Korean elemantary school.)
     
  20. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I don't want to highjack but.... :dizzy: Can't even believe that.
     
  21. PinkCupcake

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    If it's below 45 degrees it's highly unlikely any class goes outside to recess, especially with a wind chill. Tomorrow morning we're going to have our first freeze of the season. I've already got the extra blanket on my bed in preparation. Us Texans don't like cold weather too much! :lol:
     
  22. Ash Inc

    Ash Inc Rookie

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    A typical rule of thumb with most schools in my district is if the temperature goes below -20, then it will be an indoor recess.
    While I find the little ones can get rather squirrelly if they are indoors all day, I'm pretty grateful that we don't have to go out when it gets incredibly frigid because I find yard duty feels like an eternity when it gets close to the -20 mark!
     
  23. live

    live Companion

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    Today we were in the low 30s and the kids went outside. The only kids who stay in are sick kids.

    Usually, the P or whoever has recess duty makes the judgement call. Cold and snow isn't a big deal until the weather dips below freezing (or it's raining).

    My students hate cold weather and started begging to stay in from recess when it was in the 50s!! I don't remember ever being that way when I younger...I would've gone out in the snow wearing only a tshirt if it meant having recess!
     
  24. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Our rule is 10 degrees (F), with the windchill. So it can be 20 degrees and if the wind chill is 10 degrees, we don't go out. However, our rooms are stocked with toys for indoor recess, so the kids still get a brain break.
     
  25. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    That makes more sense :lol: we've had some snow emergencies. I was trapped in my dorm room one time for three entire days! Oh how fun it was to live in the secondary snowbelt!
     
  26. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Whenever I'm legally allowed to take them outside, I do. I think it's 32 degrees w/wind chill here. Indoor recess drives me absolutely bananas, and when it's cold, they stay extra busy running and burning off energy!
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    And here, it's, "It's Canada. It's winter. Deal with it."
     
  28. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Out students only stay in when it is 10 degrees or lower (with wind chill).

    If it's -35 degrees or colder with wind chill they call off school.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Interesting side note to this discussion. Our principal was inundated with phone calls after school yesterday from parents furious that their children had to go outside for a fire drill yesterday in the cold. The drill wasn't planned; the alarm was pulled so we needed to evacuate until the fire department gave the all clear. Yes, it was cold, but to complain about staff following procedures to keep the students safe!?! I just don't get it.
     
  30. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    MrsC, their precious darlings can't handle the cooooold.

    Kids are coddled way too much.

    My son was out in the cold in the same situation and had an small asthma attack. But I didn't complain to the school about it. He now has permission to carry his inhaler.
     
  31. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    That was me as well! I'm still that way. I don't mind going out as long as I'm bundled up and it's not raining.
     
  32. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    They must not have gone out too often.
     
  33. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    In general, the wind chill cannot be below zero. However, if it's sunny and not a overly windy, they still go out. No exceptions. If a hat/gloves are forgotten, they use homemade ones a local nursing home donates.
     
  34. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We do 32 degrees. But they also won't take the kids out if there is snow on the ground. Teachers never have recess duty, so it doesn't matter to me.
     
  35. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Wow! I was amazed to hear that schools actually allow students to stay in when the temps are in the 30s and 40s. At those temps I still have students wearing shorts. I guess 'cold' really does depend on where you're from!
     
  36. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Geoteacher, we had a two hour delay for snow this past week. I had at least two boys still wearing shorts!
     
  37. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Down here in Louisiana, if the windchill is 40 or below we're in.
     
  38. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I have been told the rule for bad weather is that if you are willing to go out in it then it is fine to take the students out. However; I live in an area which has about two millimeters of snow once every decade or maybe two decades depending. So up till pouring rain which will soak to the skin if a teacher is willing to be supervisor out the kids go!
     
  39. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Indoor recess when it rains? Haha only if it's torrential! Our kids would never get to go out if recess was canceled due to rain.
    Oh and we so rarely get snow I'd have a mutiny on my hands if they couldn't go play in it!:p
     
  40. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    At my current school we aren't allowed to go outside if it's below freezing or if the wind chill is below freezing (our school is kind of in a valley, so it gets VERY windy down there). This is decided by the Vice Principal.

    At my old school, the custodian dictated when we had outdoor recess. I couldn't stand him because it would literally be really nice out (maybe 55 - 60 degrees), but we had carpet in the halls and he didn't want it to get "dirty" so he'd call indoor recess.

    The same with rain. If it rained on Tuesday and no more the rest of the week, we might not be allowed to have outdoor recess until the middle of the following week.
     
  41. cutieturtle07

    cutieturtle07 Rookie

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    It's up to the teachers at my school. Generally, if it is raining we stay inside. If we think it is too cold, we just take them to our classrooms for an indoor recess.
     

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