West-Coast Recess – Please Dress for the Weather
This post is just to remind everyone that we very rarely keep students inside due to the weather conditions. Many schools in the district are doing the same and with good reason, as we will explain further below. Please ensure that your child is well prepared for rain on any given day. The biggest complaint our students have on rainy days is that they are cold. We encourage them to bring an extra sweater and bundle up. Interestingly, they rarely complain of cold on snow days so they clearly know what to wear on our coldest days .
Being prepared for the weather
We have also spoken to the students about finding ways to avoid getting so wet that a call needs to be made home for a change of clothing. We encouraged the kids to:
- Wear a rain coat
- Wear rubber boots so they can enjoy the puddles (if you are able to provide them with a pair to keep at school that would be perfect)
- Wear “muddy buddies” – rain pants they can quickly slip over their clothes (much like they would snow pants)
- Bring an umbrella
- Wear a rain hat
- Bring a change of clothes just in case
Rainy Weather FAQ
I am concerned that my child will get sick being out in the rain.
It is not cold that makes us sick but rather viruses. “People get sick more often in the winter because they are exposed to each other more in the winter than in the summer. When it is cold outside people tend to stay inside and are more likely to spread germs to one another” (from “Does Cold Weather Cause the Cold or Flu?”). Another article on the same topic can be found here: What Causes the Common Cold?
Turns out that getting outdoors is more likely to protect our kids from illnesses than keeping them indoors.
My child has been sick but is now returning to school. Can he stay inside today?
We are quite reluctant to allow this for a couple of reasons. First, if your child is still not quite better it would be better to keep them at home until they are 100% ready to function fully at school. If he is too sick to go outside he is also probably too sick to get through the day’s work successfully – give him another day of rest. Secondly, we have very limited supervision inside so if more than a couple of kids are requesting this it becomes problematic.
We do make exceptions to this based on special circumstances so, if you want to chat about your child’s specific health conditions, please contact your child’s teacher to talk about your concerns.
Why don’t you keep them in – they would be far more comfortable – it doesn’t seem fair!!
It is very important for all of us to spend more time outside. If we set things up for our kids to avoid inclement weather by staying indoors we are teaching them that they need to protect themselves from it. The habits we set up with our kids as they grow up tend to last into adulthood. Rather than feeling that they need to stay indoors we want to encourage them to find ways to enjoy the rain.
When there is rain, there are puddles. Kids love puddles. Water encourages imaginative play such as floating toy boats made out of sticks and other items found on the playground, constructing canals, dams, and islands, as well as many other play activities. These types of imaginative play are very healthy learning experiences for our kids!!
Another reason why it is so important that our kids go outside is that it is extremely difficult for most of them to focus on their school work in the afternoons when they have not had the opportunity to get some fresh air. In the past when we used to keep kids inside more routinely due to rain our students struggled through their afternoons.
Are the children ever allowed to stay inside due to the weather?
Occasionally we do call an indoor day for extreme weather conditions. So far this school-year we have only allowed our students to stay in on one day and in that case we called the day an ‘optional’ day. A few examples of days we will call indoor:
- If it is raining very hard – the type of day when you get soaked just walking from your house to your car. In that case we will call it an ‘optional’ day. Students will be allowed to choose outside or inside. This is done very rarely as it makes supervision more challenging.
- If they are forecasting a wind-chill of extreme temperatures, which our kids are not used to, we will be keeping them in.