Exploring Extreme Weather and Recess Policies, Practices, and Procedures in the Canadian Context

Brenton L.G. Button, Gina Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to explore the different policies, practices, and procedures that are used on weather and recess in the Canadian context. Fifty school websites were examined, and ten key informants were interviewed. Policies, practices, and procedures from school websites were downloaded, and interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Fourteen schools had an outwardly facing policy, practice, or procedure for weather and recess. Cold temperatures were the most often cited reason for modifying recess to be indoors, with temperatures ranging from −20 to −40 for complete indoor recess. Precipitation was only found in four online documents but was mentioned as a reason to modify recess by all key informants. Additionally, key informants discussed variability in how recess policies, practices, and procedures were followed. The findings of this study illustrate inconsistencies in both formal and informal school weather and recess policies. With outdoor recess providing numerous opportunities to improve various domains of well-being, it is pertinent to understand the conditions on which it is being modified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number814
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan. 2023


  • child
  • policy
  • recess
  • weather
  • well-being


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