Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to burn off excess energy. If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning.
Children are expected to wear clothing appropriate for forecasted conditions when participating in recess, outdoor lunch, or other outside activities. The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the administrator at individual schools. On rare occasions due to extreme weather, a decision may be made at the school system level.
The following factors are considered in determining if recess, outdoor eating, physical education, or any other outdoor activity is to be held outside:
Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess, outdoor eating, physical education, and/or other outdoor activities when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely hot or cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary. During hot weather, teachers should provide students a water break before and after recess. Additionally, any student who shows signs of heat exhaustion or overheating should be allowed a water break during recess.