15.

Research* shows that PE enhances academic performance and programs taught by PE specialists yield even greater gains. Berkeley’s elementary school coaches are funded by elementary school PTAs and SGCs. What priority do you place on the district’s ensuring consistent and quality PE instruction at every school site?

*http://www.childrennow.org/uploads/documents/bwlw2011_resource1.pdf

Answers: 
Ty Alper

Some of my favorite teachers growing up were outstanding P.E. teachers, like the legendary Jack Ball at what was then King Jr. High. Children need to move during the day, and the research indicates that this is especially true for certain children, often boys. Quality physical education should be a priority for all the reasons the question indicates. (And quality research, and meaningful data, should drive our policy decisions.) Additionally, we should provide for P.E. teachers from different schools and within schools to have time to collaborate and seek professional development.

Additionally, some classroom teachers are very creative in how they involve physical movement in their students’ days. This creativity and wisdom (what works and what doesn’t work) is something that should be shared and celebrated. This is a great supplement to the important piece that P.E. classes play in our children’s development.

Josh Daniels

I place a high priority on physical activity and wellbeing. My day job is as a staff attorney for the California School Boards Association, which is the organization that represents school districts throughout California. In that role, I have helped school districts ensure that they are abiding by the state requirement of 200 minutes everyone 10 school days for all elementary school students and I try to the same on the board.

In response to high school parents, I also worked with the Superintendent to create a Superintendent’s taskforce on the issue of high school student physical activity and wellbeing. This taskforce was discussed at the recent meeting on October 22.

My concern for physical activity and wellbeing is also why I have co-chaired the Berkeley Soda Tax effort (Yes on D!). Not only will Measure D make our children healthier but the revenue from Measure D can be used to support our gardening (and cooking) programs, which recently lost all $2 million of its federal funding.

Norma J F Harrison

Separation of content into subject matter is in line with the commodification of all aspects of our lives. So we have the products science, social studies, health, gym, art etc etc – when really they are a unity. That’s really difficult for people to envision – just living ....

Karen Hemphill

PE was one of the programs that were cut across districts due to State reduced funding for schools. I consider physical education (and nutrition) part of fostering healthy, whole children that are ready to learn and would like to start a discussion around what it would take to have a consistent PE program in our elementary schools. The issue is that the current State funding isn’t so much new money as restored money – in 2020 the District will get to the same level of funding as in 2007 for its base funding so there is and will be a lot of competition for restoring programs as well as services that were cut. I believe that in addition to a Master Facilities Plan that we need a baseline for physical education, music, and art as well as student support services in order to be able to determine what are the necessary resources to achieve what we believe is important to provide to our students.

Julie Sinai

PTA’s have been instrumental in providing resources for PE and organized playground activities. When I led the Garden and Cooking Programs in BUSD we worked to embed physical activity into the discussions on nutrition. In 2002, I secured a grant from the Department of Education - Linking Education, Activity and Food (LEAF) –for the District. The grant objectives were to improve healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices in Districts across the state. When in the Mayor’s office, we included nutrition and physical activity to our BUILD summer literacy – so I’m extremely committed to ensuring positive health outcomes for our students, which includes physical activity. If elected, I will look at how we can deliver our physical education consistently across the District and work to include our PE coaches and teachers in our professional development efforts.