The Department of Education “encourages” at least 20 minutes a day of recess, preferably outdoors, “so long as weather conditions are appropriate.” Principals interpret this in wildly different ways: Progressive schools are likely to bundle kids up and take them outside and make a science lesson out of leaves, ice and snow; some schools keep children inside even on relatively warm 40 degree days. On a school tour, ask your guide what kids do if the weather is poor. (Do they watch videos in the lunchroom? Play boards games in the classroom? Run around in the gym?)