INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Lawmakers will not hear a bill this session that would mandate physical education, but that isn't stopping an Indianapolis school from getting students active.
First-graders at IPS School 19 were in class Thursday running around the gym to get physical activity.
"We're talking about healthy hearts and showing the kids how the blood moves through their heart," says IPS Wellness Supervisor Audrey Satterblom.
One lawmaker proposed Senate Bill 333, which would have required physical education for all public and charter schools in Indiana for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
"It's wonderful. As a physical education person, it's great to actually be able to have physical education daily," says Satterblom.
Satterblom says physical "activity" in existing classes with current teachers could work. But she says mandatory physical "education," where specially certified teachers are needed, isn't practical.
"The cost of the teachers first. Second would be the space," she says. "Unless you want to go on and build new buildings, new gyms at every school, it would really be hard to implement."
School 19, however, is already ahead of the curve. In 2014 it will be a magnet "super school" with both physical activity and physical education as part of its focus.
"They have physical activity during the day, during the classes every 20 minutes. Or they have brain breaks every 20 minutes where they are doing physical activity in the classroom to learn. The second part of it will be daily physical education for an hour," she says.
Satterblom says movement makes a difference for students. They enjoy school more, she says, and actually perform better on tests when they are active.
Senate Bill 333 also would have required adding an extra half hour to each school day, which brings potential problems of its own. A spokeswoman for the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) says it will not get a hearing. So, mandatory physical education for all schools will not become law this year.
But School 19 is moving forward, and is getting ready to get physical in 2014.
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