Bernadette Edwards

Bernadette Edwards addresses the MVSD school board July 29. She turned in a petition with more than 1,500 signatures from patrons who want the board to rescind their decision on the termination of elementary P.E. specialists.

GRANGEVILLE – “Our communities see the benefit of having a certified specialist instruct our children in physical education,” Grangeville Elementary Middle School teacher and parent Bernadette Edwards told the Mountain View School District 244 school board July 29.

On behalf of MVSD patrons, Edwards presented a petition with more than 1,500 signatures requesting the board to rescind the removal of elementary P.E. specialists. This decision was made by the board at the June meeting in order to balance the 2019-20 budget.

“Our elementary teaching staff has now lost a prep period and will now have to plan and prep for another subject,” she told the board. She stated there are Idaho Content Standards for P.E. that teachers will now have to add to their curriculum.

Edwards told the board and more than 75 patrons at the meeting there are benefits of a solidly run P.E. program.

“The benefits of physical education are far-reaching, including both increased student physical health and better academic performance,” she said. She stated the specialists teach self-responsibility and enjoyment of a physical activity, teaching students to be physically active for a lifetime.

“Our communities hope that you, as a board, will reconsider your decision and bring back specialists to continue teaching our quality elementary physical education program,” she said.

The board did not respond to her request at the meeting.

Edwards mentioned research that shows physical education helps students in other areas.

The Center for Disease Control states (June 2017) “physical activity has an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior … including enhanced concentration and attention, as well as improved classroom behavior.”

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