BILLINGS - With the rush to get outside, you would have thought school was out for summer at Boulder Elementary.
On Thursday, students raced out of the building for afternoon recess in two degree weather.
"They're enjoying, they're playing, they're having fun," said Principal Jeri Heard. "When they are not able to do that, everything just gets bottled up inside of them, and you know in the classroom it becomes a challenge sometimes."
School District 2 policy states that kids are not allowed outside for recess, or any other activities, if the temperature is below zero.
Heard said the policy does not specify whether or not that is actual temperature, or 'feel', which takes wind chill into account. She said she uses the 'feel' temperature as an extra precaution.
On Thursday morning, the temperature sat around two below zero, meaning the kids did not get to go outside, but thanks to a very slight afternoon warm up, recess was back on in the afternoon.
"I was in my office making the announcement about kids being able to have afternoon recess, and the second grade hallway just went wild with cheers and screams," said Heard. "We have great families here where the kids are dressed properly with boots and snow pants, hats, and mittens...so let's get them outside and enjoy the fresh air."
Besides being kids and needing to expend a little energy, Heard said it can be difficult to properly staff times of supervision when the kids cannot go outside to play.
Heard said because of the need for supervision, all kids must go outside if the determination is made that recess is appropriate. The school has bins of hats, gloves, and even snow jackets for children who may not come properly prepared.