Originally published May 26, 2017 in the Times Telegram, written by Donna Thompson.
ILION — Elementary school children in the Central Valley school district are not getting the required number of physical education minutes, but physical education teachers think they have a solution to the problem.
Jane Connors and Jonna Costin presented their recommendations at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
“Without a healthy body, where is your brain going to live?” was the question posed in their PowerPoint presentation.
While students should be receiving 120 minutes of physical education a week, according to current requirements, some are receiving 70 minutes and sometimes students receive as few as 35 minutes a week.
Middle school and high school students receive enough PE minutes to meet the requirements, Costin said. The concern is for children in grades K-4.
Costin said they had contacted other schools and 36 out of 40 had more PE time than Central Valley and the 25 that met the requirements offered PE every other day or four days out of a six-day cycle.
To improve the situation at Central Valley, the teachers recommended having a full-time physical education teacher at each of the two elementary buildings — Fisher school in Mohawk and Barringer Road school in Ilion — and a PE teacher who is shared between the two buildings.
To add more PE minutes, they recommended using Fast Fit Centers where children would go through stations performing activities designed to get their heart rates up.
The children would be practicing multiple skills at the various stations, Connors said, adding the physical activity “enhances brain development that is necessary for learning.”
“With the 15-minute Fast Fit Centers, we think we can get it to 120,” she said.