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Cold Weather Guidelines for Parents and Schools

The cold weather is here and we have received many questions such as...

  • How cold does it have to be to keep students inside before school and during breaks?
  • Does the wind chill factor make a difference when it comes to cold weather decisions?
  • What do I need to do as a parent to ensure that my child stays warm?

The BHNCDSB has a Cold Weather Guideline administrative procedure that principals reference when making 'cold weather' decisions. Student safety is always a priority and parents and staff work together to ensure that children are warm and safe.

Some of the information in the procedure includes:



  • To ensure children are adequately dressed for winter conditions.


  • To ensure children remain indoors when temperatures drop below -20°C (with or without wind chill) and do not spend more than 20 minutes outdoors with the temperature is between -10°C and -20°C.



  • Parents will ensure that students come to school adequately dressed to provide protection against wind and cold.


Principals will:

  • Review the criteria and procedures for indoor nutrition breaks with staff, students and parents in their respective schools.
  • Check the weather conditions each day in determining whether or not to have indoor nutrition breaks. Elementary students will remain indoors if the temperature falls below -20°C with or without wind chill
  • If the temperature is between -10°C and -20°C with or without wind chill, students may go outside for no more than twenty (20) minutes.
  • Review the needs of children with special health conditions; asthmatic children, in particular, need special accommodations during extreme cold conditions. Parents and schools must work together to ensure the safety of the student.

View the complete Cold Weather Guideline administrative procedure found on Board's website.