You Mean Kids Can Survive Winter Recess?

Hi Readers! After all the discussion a week or two ago about schools cancelling recess in the (less-than-bone-chilling) cold,  another mom sent in her school’s policy. I like it! Voila:

Dear Parent: Even in the cold winter months, we believe outdoor recess is an important and valuable part of the student’s day in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District elementary schools. With that in mind, we ask that you consider the temperature and weather conditions when assisting your child with clothing for the day. There may be times when the weather is deemed too cold for outdoor recess. We make that determination on a daily basis, but please remember that on most days we will have outdoor recess even if it is for an abbreviated time. Winter coats, hats, gloves and long pans are most appropriate on these cold days.

We realize that temperatures in our buildings may vary, so dressing in layers…is a good practice. In addition, please consider labeling coats,gloves, hates, scarves, etc. as these items of clothing sometimes go missing. Take the time to check out the Lost and Found at your child’s school, as each has a large number of items at this time of year.

Thank you for your attention and continued support and stay warm!

No Recess Under 32 Degrees? Because Kids Freeze Like Water?

Hi Readers — Got a notice from our school last week: No more recess when it’s freezing outside — 32 degrees Fahrenheit — or when the wind chill takes an above-freezing day and makes it FEEL freezing.

Now, as a kid growing up in Chicago, this was my dream policy. (Yes, even as a kid I dreamed of improving public  policy. Didn’t you?) How many days were we outside when it was 15 degrees with those famous Windy City winds whipping us around? That’s before kids were fat! We were like coffee stirrers skittering across the blacktop!

On the other hand, now that I’ve got two middle-school sons, I want them to run around during recess. They want to run around, too. The good news at our school is that they ARE allowed to leave the premises for lunch. (I know — how very New York.) It’s just that if they stay and eat in the cafeteria, they can no longer go out to the playground.

What harm would it do them to play outside in the cold? Aren’t Finnish kids #1 in the world in everything, and aren’t they freezing from Day One? Since when did winter become too much to bear? — Lenore