Outdoor Recess

FRENCHTOWN - Because of the recent drop in temperatures, some schools across Western Montana are choosing to move students from the playground into the gym for recess.

Frenchtown School officials explained their procedure for deciding whether students stay inside for recess during the winter months.

Frenchtown Elementary School Assistant Principal, Ashley Parks, said they try to get their students some fresh air as much as possible.

"We recognize that recess is very important for kids for their ability to learn. We only keep them inside when it's a safety concern," explained Parks. 

She emphasized they will only let the kids outside if the conditions are safe. That's why one of her first jobs every morning is to check weather conditions on her phone. 

"You just scroll down here to where it says 'feels like' and today it says it feels like 12 so were going to be sending out kids outside to enjoy the weather. If it feels like zero or any negative number, we keep them inside," emphasized Parks.

If the kids are kept inside, Parks said Frenchtown educators still try to keep them active whether its playing in the gymnasium or doing a dance program in their classrooms.

Other times, the kids will relax by watching a movie in the band room.

"Kids need brain breaks. They need activity, they need to get outside and stretch their legs," Parks said. "Additionally, just from a health standpoint getting outside and getting some fresh air is always good getting away from all the germs that roll around in a school."

Getting fresh air is always good, so they advise families to send their children with proper snow gear.

Parks said if some families can't afford to buy snow gear, the school provides them with the proper clothing to safely play outside.

Frenchtown school officials also said they give students the option to stay inside if they feel it's too cold outside.

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