Park West School

Winter in Canada

A Canadian Winter:  The Halifax Regional School Board does not have an official policy on wind chill/cold weather with regards to students being sent outside for recess and lunch breaks, or whether or not students are kept outside in the morning prior to the first bell.  However, schools are provided with information to assist them in making decisions at individual school sites.   Generally speaking, when the temperature reaches -10C or below we assess the appropriateness of sending children outside.  We also consider wind chill factors. Wind chill is the cooling sensation caused by the combined effect of temperature and wind.  Environment Canada advises there is an “increased risk” of frostbite and hypothermia with a wind chill below – 27C.  School administration consults the Environment Canada weather website frequently and uses common sense in determining whether or not students should be outside on a given day.  We also consider the length of time students will be outside, their activity level (heat generation), and exposure to wind and sun (the sun does have a warming affect, even during the winter months).  Whenever possible we do like to see our students being given the opportunity to get outside at some point during the day to get some exercise, fresh air, and have the opportunity to socialize with friends, rather than being confined to their classrooms for extended periods of time.  Student safety, health, and well-being are always paramount.   Parents should ensure their children are sent to school dressed appropriately for the weather and possible outdoor play.