We believe strongly in the benefits of experience in the outdoor world and consider the dynamic outdoor space of our school a major asset. As a school community, we’re invested in providing positive direct experiences of the natural world, and consider recess to be an important part of this.

Benefits of Outdoor Recess

At PSOE we go outdoors for recess as much as we possibly can during the school year.  Having daily activity outdoors provides many benefits:

  • Exercise outdoors provides life-long health benefits including increased levels of physical fitness due to daily activity.
  • Exercise outdoors provides cognitive benefits including improved focus, and stimulation for creativity and problem solving.
  • Exercise outdoors assists in social and emotional development, including decreasing stress, increasing self confidence, providing opportunities for cooperative play, and increasing motivation to learn. 

Recess Policy

Each class has time for 20 minutes of recess after their lunch period. Our school administration team makes the call for indoor or outdoor recess on a daily basis. The decision is made based on many factors, including air temperature, wind chill and moisture in the air.

Outdoor recess is 20 minutes of supervised play in our outdoor spaces, including play structures, sheltered outdoor classroom space, and the field.

Indoor recess is 20 minutes of supervised play in the classroom, including access to games, activities, or watching a movie.

Because safety is a priority for our students, our school administration team adheres to accepted education best practice guidelines. We pay close attention to the weather when making the call for indoor recess vs staying outside. Generally, if the temperature is above 20F air temperature, we will try to get our students outdoors for recess. In cases where it’s actively raining, students will be indoors. In cases where it is not actively snowing, but there is snow on the ground, outdoor recess may still occur.

We ask that when the colder weather moves in, school families dress their children in preparation for winter weather recess every day, with a winter coat, hat, gloves or mittens and a scarf . Students may bring winter boots to change into before recess.

If your child has been sick, a doctor’s note is required to excuse them from outdoor recess. An excused student will spend their recess period in a buddy classroom setting.

If you have any questions about our recess policy, please contact the school office.