Need Help Working Against a Physical Education Waiver?
Suggestions to help prepare you to speak against a proposed waiver:
- Familiarize yourself with the Illinois School Code on Physical Education.
- Contact your parent clubs for support.
- Contact your local pediatricians for testimony either in person or in writing.
- Contact your local American Heart Association for testimony either in person or in writing.
- Prepare justification for your current curriculum with local assessment statistics. Send to Board Members ahead of time.
- Have as many staff members from your District as possible attend the hearing. (Elementary, Middle School, and High School members)
- Prepare supportive research articles (See below.) Get these to your Board members ahead of time.
- Offer alternative solutions to the perceived problem this waiver is supposed to solve.
- Contact your local union representative for support.
- Keep records as to whether the law regarding the hearing was followed exactly as outlined in the School Code.
- Contact IAHPERD.
The following information is found in the “NASPE Sport and Physical Education Advocacy Kit”
Question: Why do children need daily physical education?
Children need enough time to be able to participate in all the activities and instruction that make up a quality physical education program. A quality program must comprise a variety of activities including:
- aerobic exercises designed to improve children’s cardiovascular fitness (at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes)
- exercises designed to improve strength and flexibility (at least 3 times a week)
- motor skills; development through instruction in a variety of movement forms (sports, dance, gymnastics, aquatics)
- instruction about how physical activity improves personal health and well-being.
In order for a program to incorporate all these components and provide opportunity for adequate practice and physical activity, it must be offered every day. The National Association for Sport & Physical Education (NASPE) recommends for maximum benefits that elementary school children receive a daily minimum of 30 minutes of physical education a day and middle and high school students a minimum of 45-55 minutes.
Question: What are the benefits of physical education?
We know that physical activity can benefit participants in many ways.
- Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Physical education can counteract major risk factors of coronary heart disease: obesity, inactivity, and high blood pressure.
- Improved physical fitness – A good program improves children’s muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and cardiovascular endurance.
- Stronger Bones – Regular physical activity increases bone density to create a sturdier skeleton.
- Weight Regulation – A good program can help children regulate their weight by burning calories, toning their bodies and improving their overall body composition.
- Health Promotion – Appropriate physical activity prevents the onset of some diseases and postpones the debilitating effects of old age.
- Improved Judgment – Quality physical education can influence moral development. Students have the opportunity to assume leadership, cooperate with others, question actions and regulations, and accept responsibility for their own behavior.
- Self Discipline – A good program teaches children they are responsible for their own health and fitness.
- Skill Development – Physical education develops skills which allow for enjoyable and rewarding participation in physical activities. New skills become easier to learn.
- Experience Setting Goals – Physical education gives children the time and encouragement they need to set and strive for, personal, achievable goals.
- Improved Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem – Physical education instills a stronger sense of self-worth in children. They can become more confident, assertive, emotionally stable, independent and self-controlled.
- Stress Reduction – Physical activity becomes an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety.
- Strengthened Peer Relationships – Physical education can be a major force in helping children socialize with others more successfully. Especially during late childhood and adolescence, being able to participant in dances, games and sports is an important part of fitting in.
- Reduced Risk of Depression – A good program is effective in the promotion of mental health.
- More Active Lifestyles – Physical education promotes a more positive attitude toward physical activity.
Web sites that could be helpful.