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BV to apply for PE waiver

MANLIUS – The Bureau Valley School Board agreed Monday to apply for the waiver that will allow a reduction in the number of days physical education is taught in elementary schools.

If the waiver is approved by the state board of education, it will give the school board an option to reduce physical education from 20 minutes a day, five days a week, to 20 minutes a day, three days a week.

As reported earlier, reducing the number of required days would benefit the district in the sense that it would give more flexibility in how professional staff is used.

The idea to apply for the waiver was brought to the table by Superintendent Dennis Thompson at the June board meeting. As part of protocol, the school board held a public hearing on July 8 to get input on the matter.

At the hearing, several teachers spoke out against the waiver and expressed concerns about how reducing physical education might have an impact on student performance and concentration. It was also brought to light that once a program is cut from a school district, it’s difficult to bring it back and have it reinstated.

Throughout the matter, Thompson urged he was not a fan of the waiver and reassured the waiver would only give the board options to help reduce costs in the future if the district’s budget faced a serious deficit.

“I don’t know if you’re going to use it, but maybe in two years from now, you might have to,” he said to the board on Monday.

There was no further discussion on the matter before board member Don King made the motion to approve the waiver and board member Justin Yepsen seconded the motion. The motion to apply for the waiver passed 7-0.

If approved by the state board of education, the waiver will not be applicable until January. The option to change the elementary physical education program will then be available for the board to make in 2014 and the first half of 2015 before the waiver expires.

In other news, the board:

• Agreed to repair a chiller in the high school’s technology department for $26,746.

• Approved the resignations of Tammy Barrett as Wyanet sign language interpreter and Paula Richardson as Bureau Valley South special education aide.

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