MEDFORD, Ore. — The Medford School District is receiving a $500,000 elementary physical education grant. However, the grant still has to be approved by the Medford School Board.
Currently, only 10 of the 14 elementary schools qualify for the grant. Qualifying schools must have more than 40 percent of their enrolled students on free or reduced lunch plans.
According to Medford School Board president, Jeff Thomas, the board needs to discuss the grant and figure out a way to treat all of the elementary schools fairly. He said he does not want one school feeling less important than the others.
As of now, schools in the Medford School District do not have physical education teachers. Physical education is taught by a regular school teacher, but the grant will give the district the money to hire physical education teachers who will just teach P.E.
The grant will pay for their salary, but the district will still have to pay for their benefits. Education officials are expected to ask the school board on at their meeting Monday, September 16, for $300,000 to fund physical education staffing for the four schools who are not applicable for the grant, and benefits for the new physical education teachers who are hired as a result of the grant.
“We’re still trying to work on the logistics to make this program happen, and figuring out how to serve the other schools now that we have this exciting amount of money being given to this district from this grant,” said Julie Evans, Director of Elementary Education for the Medford School District.
The school board said they are unsure if they will approve the grant at the school board meeting on September 16.