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Dist. U-46 Board to vote on curriculum proposal

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on a physical education (PE) curriculum proposal as well as Illinois High School Association (IHSA) membership at its upcoming April 20 meeting.
  The items were presented at the Monday, April 6 meeting which was held electronically due to COVID-19, board member Veronica Noland was absent.
  The PE proposal includes assessments, frameworks, resources and rubrics for new curriculum as well as revisions to existing curriculum for secondary health and PE. It has a total estimated cost of $442,548 split between cardio equipment ($299,778), resources ($116,424) and professional development ($26,345).
  Courses include middle school PE and health, high school health, two modules of team sports coaching and officiating, two modules of walking for wellness, two modules of functional fitness and two modules of strength and performance.
  “With student wellness, health education is making a shift that we need to have a greater focus on the development of skills as well as including content,” said Tracey Jakaitis, student wellness coordinator.
  PE will be a year-long course for seventh grade under the change while eighth grade would have one semester of PE and one for health. For 10th through 12th grade, students will take one module each semester of their selected PE course.
  Courses to be dropped are dance, team sports, freshman through senior PE, personal fitness and conditioning and weight training.
  Enrollment in fitness-focused PE courses jumped from 2,095 to 5,245 between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 which is why the district is asking for more cardio equipment to be purchased.
  “We have a lot of students who really are enjoying our fitness options,” Jakaitis said. “I would say it’s 75 percent of our students are in a fitness-based course, so we need to try and maximize the facilities so a student doesn’t have to stand and wait to use a piece of equipment.”
  The objectives for the health education proposals are critical thinking, analyze influences, health literacy, communication, decision-making and advocacy. PE objectives are critical thinking, physical literacy and career exploration.
  Jakaitis said all high school PE teachers will have access to the resources when asked by board member Melissa Owens. Asked by Sue Kerr, the board’s president, about the team sports coaching and officiating course Jakaitis said students will rotate between being a player, an official and a coach.
  The IHSA membership proposal is “an annual event the board undertakes to allow us to be members of IHSA at no cost,” said Superintendent Tony Sanders.




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