MEDFORD, Ore. — Elementary schools in the Medford School District will soon be getting teachers who are certified in physical education.
The Medford School Board approved a grant last night that would give the district $500,000 to fund physical education programs. Currently, regular classroom teachers teach physical education classes, but the grant will allow the district to hire 10 physical education teachers
To qualify for the grant, schools are required to have 40 percent of their students on free or reduced lunch plans. Ten out of the 14 elementary schools in the school district qualified for the grant, but four did not. The grant would also only pay for the salary of the newly hired teachers, not for their benefit packages.
Education officials went before the board Monday night to make sure every school was going to be treated fairly. They proposed that the district hire two physical education teachers for the four schools who did not qualify, and $20,000 benefit packages to all the new hires.
School teachers in the district said hiring qualified physical education teachers will benefit their students.
“We do the best we can with all of the other subjects — the important stuff — reading, writing, and math — I think those get more of our prep time and although we teach P.E. I don’t think we have the amount of time necessary to put into a well developed lesson.”
Medford School District’s Elementary Education Director, Julie Evans, said the district will start hiring qualified physical education teachers as soon as possible. They hope to have a newly developed physical education program with physical education teachers in place by the end of October.