Interesting — got this message from the school. I’d love it if we could move to daily phys. ed. for all the elementary kids — I think they need it. It looks like this is the best our schools can do for now, given current space /staffing constraints.
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“During the past couple of weeks, several of you have inquired about the district’s proposed plan to apply for a waiver from the state that would enable us to continue our existing practices for administering physical education to students in our elementary schools. Below is information about why we are seeking the waiver and what it will mean for our students if it is granted.
Illinois requires all public schools to offer physical education on a daily basis. However, we do not currently have enough staff or adequate space at the elementary level to meet this requirement. As a result, we are asking the state to allow our homeroom teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade to offer physical education activity (PEA) for at least 15 minutes per day on the days when students do not have gym class. PEA will be carried out in accordance with specific guidelines that we are in the process of finalizing. With that said, the implementation of PEA would not impact or reduce the amount of time our elementary students have for gym class on a weekly basis (currently 60 minutes). In fact, if we receive this waiver, it will actually increase the chances these students have to engage in physical activity during the school day. We would also update our wellness guidelines to ensure that physical education, recess and/or PEA are not taken away from students under any circumstances (e.g., as a punishment, for the purpose of re-teaching, etc.).
If the Board of Education decides to pursue the waiver and it is granted by the state, it would be in place for a maximum of two years. During that time period, we would be able to identify potential solutions to the barriers that are currently prohibiting us from offering physical education to our elementary students on a daily basis (e.g., staffing, space, etc.). We would also keep the community updated on the status of these efforts, and provide opportunities for input or feedback when appropriate.”