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Iowa City Cutting Early Bird PE

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28)- The Iowa City School District will no longer hold early bird PE classes.

These classes were held to help students still fulfill PE requirements even with a full class load.

School administrators know physical education is extremely important but after speaking with both students and parents, they decided this change will help keep PE classes smaller and safer.

Staying active is important at any age.
But for one high schooler, she says PE helps her stay fit for soccer.
"Our PE class is helpful. Most of the time I take gym in the winter to get fit," Alanna Brumell said.

Although she doesn't go to school in Iowa City, she and her mom, Rita, believe ICCSD is doing the right thing.

"I don't think it needs to be a course where they get a grade if they are already participating in extra curricular activities," Rita said.

School administrators say they've already had a PE waiver for upperclassmen. Tenth graders will now be able to have the option to waive PE.

"We have not as a district offered that waiver to prior students. We want to make sure we form those habits with them," ICCSD Superintendent Stephen Murley said

He says many students participate in varsity sports and activities outside of school. Eliminating the early bird PE class won't stop students from staying active.

"It's not uncommon to find students that are filling up that 7th period with academic coursework," Murley said.

The school district decided to make the change to also accommodate next years budget. They said no one will lose their jobs. It will help make PE classes smaller during the day and move PE teachers from working before school to during regular school hours.

The waiver allows students like Alanna to balance their studies and sports.

"As much homework as they have and practices, they get home late," Rita said

Alanna and Rita said it depends on the student. Some students may want to take PE to stay in shape where others already are involved with a sport and may need time to do homework.

Iowa law states that students may be excused from PE to take academic classes they otherwise wouldn't be able to take if the school district offers a waiver.

School officials want parents and students to know that the waiver is optional. It doesn't apply to every student depending on their schedule and academic level.

9th graders won't have the option to waive PE.

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