During the Saskatchewan winter, severe weather is a part of life. Severe weather may include very cold temperatures and wind chill, blizzards and heavy snow fall, and ice storms.
Saskatoon Public Schools' guidelines state that students are to stay inside the school when the temperature with the wind chill is minus 27 degrees Celsius. This means students stay indoors during recess and during the noon hour for those students who stay for lunch.
When the wind chill is minus 20 to minus 26, students are expected to dress warmly and go outside during recess and noon hour, for fresh air and exercise. Students can come into the school to warm up in the boot room and are then expected to return outside after a few minutes. Fresh air and exercise provides energy for the rest of the day and we are working hard to ensure our staff and students remain in motion!
School staff monitors the wind chill and temperatures throughout the day as the safety of both students and staff remains a priority on very cold days. Employees at Saskatoon Public Schools work closely with the City of Saskatoon and first responders (police, fire, ambulance, Emergency Measures Organization) to address safety issues.
Parents and guardians are reminded to ensure their children are dressed appropriately for the weather. Whether children are walking to school, taking the school bus or the city bus, or being dropped off at school in a vehicle, it's very important to check that they are wearing mitts, a scarf, warm coat, boots and something on their head. On high wind chill days, all exposed skin should be covered. Parents are encouraged to make decisions about their child's attendance at school based on current weather conditions and safe transportation to and from school. Visit our Dressing for Winter webpage for suggestions on how to make sure your child will be safe and warm.
Elementary schools require that students arrive at school no sooner than 15 minutes prior to bell time unless they are arriving for a teacher-supervised activity. If you are unsure, please check with your child's school about when teachers provide playground supervision for students.
As primary care givers, parents and guardians need to decide what is best for their children. The option to keep children at home when weather conditions are extreme is at the parent's discretion. As a school division, we have a responsibility to educate your child. We work very hard to minimize any interruption to your child's education. Classes are interrupted only on rare occasions.