Sunday, January 05, 2014

Teacher/Parent Communication Tip: Dressing Your Child for Cold Weather

Many parts of the country are experiencing some extremely cold weather this week, including Oz!  My school always gets an influx of new students and families each January, and quite a few of those folks haven't spent much time dealing with snow, sleet, cold temperatures, and wind chill.  Though my district, like many others, provides parents with an online (or hard copy via parent info manual) resource for its inclement weather policy and procedures, parents often forget where to find the link or know what the teacher's expectations might be when students arrive to class after walking uphill, in a snowstorm, holding a baked potato between their mittened hands to keep them warm.  

See, I paid attention to my mother's When-I-Was-Your-Age stories! 

To help my Super Stars and their families, I emailed them the following this morning:

It's cold (and snowy) out there!  Here are some quick tips on how to dress your Super Star for comfort and warmth now that the temperature has dropped.  Remember, even if s/he rides the bus or is driven to school by you, vehicles can break down or become stuck in snow, necessitating walking and exposure to the weather.  While at school, students should have appropriate cold weather gear in case of a fire alarm or other emergency, though we will NOT have outdoor recess if the temperature is colder than twenty degrees or if the playground is too snowpacked or muddy once it warms up again.  
Dress your Star (and yourselves) in layers to keep the body's ambient heat from being stripped away by the wind: 
If you don't own snowpants or thermal underwear ("longjohns"), then tights, pajama bottoms or leggings under pants/jeans/skirts/sweatpants will help.  
Multiple layers of knee-high socks or heavy socks inside boots (students may bring tennis shoes in backpacks to change into after arriving) will help keep feet warm, while mittens (not the thin stretchy gloves), scarves or neckwarmers, hats and earmuffs will keep other extremities from becoming frost-nipped. 
Long sleeved shirts topped with cardigan sweaters (easily unbuttoned or removed if the classroom heater is running hot) or hooded sweatshirts should be worn under warm coats.   
Practice zipping and snapping those fasteners today at home please.
(I provide a link to my district's weather policy at this point in the message)

Stay warm (and see you soon),
M. Sommerville

I crosspost helpful tips like this on our district-provided class web page as announcements as they become necessary, and strongly encourage you to share safety information with your families as well. 


How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

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