Parents in Ontario, Canada,school recess

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Parents in Ontario, Canada,school recess
2
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 4:15pm
Hi all, I was hoping to talk to other mom's in ontario and get a feel for what is the law when it comes to children getting reccess while at school. I am absolutely fed up that my child rarely gets a recess when he goes to school. He is in J.K. and goes Tues, thurs, and alternating fridays. Ever since late fall, he hasn't gone out for a recess. I questioned the teacher near christmas time and she had a list of excuses. Example, too cold out, not all the kids had appropriate clothes to go out, not enough time etc. I don't know why she couldn't just send a note home to the kids parents, to make sure they had warm clothes on so they could go out. Obviously, she was just making up excuses to quiet me. She said, other parents had asked the same thing. Now, o.k. I can kinda get by with them not getting recess in winter, I take my child out daily when home so he does get fresh air. But now it is in the mid to upper 60's and he is still not going out for recess. The odd time he has gone out, it is right before the bus comes, they get five minutes and that is it. I am blown away and angry. When I ask my son, he says the teacher said they didn't have time to go out. Come on, how busy can a j.k. class be that they can't take them out for a few minutes in the morning and afternoon. Especially since they don't even need snow pants, hats and boots. Isn't it a law that they go out? I don't want to single out my child, for fear of reprecusions from the teacher. The teacher is very approachable, and good otherwise. How would you deal with it? I was thinking about annonyomosly calling the principle and advising him to check his teachers for taking the kids out, but I'm not sure if this would be good either. HELP! Suzanne
Avatar for kansascity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 5:21pm
Well, I'm not from Ontario, but here's what I would do if this was happening at my kids' school.

Are you in a public school? I would contact the district (or whatever you're under) and ask them what the policies are on going outside.

Do they have a posted schedule? My kids have this posted in each of their classrooms and there is a scheduled time each morning and afternoon for free play. Most of the time, they go outside during this time.

If there is a "district" policy that children must have outside time and it's also posted in the schedule that they have free time, I would find out why this isn't happening in your child's class.

They don't take the kids out at my kids' school if it's below a certain temp (thirty something), but they seem to get a lot of play time. Personally, I think it's easier to take the kids outside and let them play at will instead of keeping them cooped up inside all day. That's not good for anyone. And if the problem is that some kids don't dress appropriately, then you're right, just send home a note. And if that's the exception, then keep those kids who don't dress appropriately indoors (in another class) while the rest go outside.

Good luck!

Kathy, Alexandra (6/19/97) and Christian (12/22/99)

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 8:18pm
Thanks Kathy for your insight. I think you have a great idea about calling the district. My son goes to a catholic school. Apparently, the teacher said she tried leaving the few kids that didn't have appropriate clothing in the winter in another class, but they cried, and she felt bad for them, so she kept the whole class inside. They do have lots of free play time throughout the day in the class, as I have spent some time in the class helping out. They have even put a little tricycle in the hallway, for the kids to ride up and down a small area of the hallway. But I was surprized they don't make the kids wear a helmet in case they fall off. Even still, I just think fresh air is so important, not to mention they get more exercise in the schoolyard running around. I like you agree, I would think it would be easier to take the kids out. I guess I get angry too, because his class is so darn hot, the heating and cooling is out of wack. I swear I would die if I worked in that class it's so hot. I feel bad for the kids. Apparently a few of the kids were falling asleep it was so warm. When my child is home, he is outside all the time, even in the winter,unless it's really cold. He loves the activity. He is not real big on crafts or quiet play..I ask him what he does all day, and he says he plays in the kitchen center.all day? The teacher says, he and some of the other kids try and make up imaginative games in the kitchen but come on, even for the most creative kid, more than an hour of this would get old. I think the outside play is also good for the relationships with his classmates..I think true personalities come out when they have unstructered play, and he gets very little to none of this at his school. I just don't know if i should rock the boat since there is only another month or so of school left for the year. Thanks for your advise..I think I will call tommorrow. Suzanne