BDN interviews Jacobs about recess policy study

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Lauren Jacobs, a lecturer in kinesiology and physical education at the University of Maine, about her recent study on different elementary school policies for outdoor recess. “I already knew going into it that schools have varying recess policies, so I wanted to understand where these policies were coming from,” said Jacobs, who looked into the temperature thresholds at which schools cancel outdoor recess, and whether the schools keep track of when they cancel. Jacobs found that most schools in northern Maine cancel outdoor recess when the temperature drops below zero, while coastal schools typically canceled outdoor recess at temperatures between 11 and 20 degrees. When some Bangor-area schools cancel outdoor recess, they keep kids active in indoor spaces like classrooms and gyms, according to the article. Jacobs said she believes Maine winter is not extreme enough that schools should cancel outdoor recess, and that schools should keep track of how often they cancel and make efforts to reduce that number. “I’d encourage schools to think of creative solutions, ways to overcome those challenges rather than say, ‘We can’t go out,’” Jacobs said.