Each year, I like to make this information readily available to you, so you can plan appropriately for your child’s outdoor attire. So, today’s your lucky day - here’s how we make decisions on whether we’ll be inside or outside for morning AND lunchtime recess!
Indoor Morning Recess (red flag) is enacted for a few different reasons. The first being temperature. The state recommends staying indoors if the temperature (including wind chill) is below 20 degrees. If the temperature at 8:05 is 20 degrees or less, we keep the children indoors. Now, the X factor on that is also what it feels like based on the wind chill. If the resting temperature is below 20 degrees, it’s indoor recess. If the resting temperature is above 20 degrees, but because of the wind chill it “feels like” less than 20 degrees, it is also indoor recess. A good example of this was one day last week when the temperature was 28 degrees, but because of the wind chill it felt like 18 - we stayed inside.
A second reason we would call indoor morning recess is based on the ground conditions in the back playground area. If the hot top is extremely icy or we had a heavy rain the night before and there are large, unavoidable puddles, morning recess may also be held indoors.
Finally, and this one is a bit more obvious, would be the precipitation. If it is snowing or raining heavily, we are likely to keep the students inside for recess. I, personally, tend to take my chances when we have a light drizzle or snow out there, but I’m sure sooner or later I’ll lose that bet and we’ll be outside getting torrentially downpoured on and scrambling to get in!
Lunch Recess follows the same guidelines, but the temperature and ground conditions are assessed at the beginning of each lunch block. There is no set rule that if it was indoor morning recess, then it needs to be indoor lunch recess. And to go farther, just because the first lunch block was indoors, does not mean that all lunch blocks must be. We constantly assess the conditions to make sure that the environment is suitable for your child, but we also keep in mind how important that social and health piece of being able to be with friends and run around outside is to all students.
To sum it all up, the temperature, ground conditions, and precipitation all play a role in that decision, but there is a certain amount of principal’s discretion that takes place as well. You know me and that safety is one of my biggest concerns, so rest assured that your child will be indoors or outdoors when appropriate. I hope you find having this information helpful!