Notice of Public Hearing: Physical Education Waiver

The Board of Education of Oak Park School District 97 will hold a Public Hearing on August 16, 2022, at 7 p.m., during the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting. 

The purpose of the hearing will be to receive public comment on a waiver of the physical education requirement as outlined below:

Students enrolled in public schools and state universities engaged in preparing teachers are required to engage daily during the school day, except on block scheduled days for the public schools engaged in block scheduling, in courses of physical education for such periods as are compatible with the optimum growth and developmental needs of individuals at the various age levels, except when appropriate excuses are submitted to the school by a pupil’s parent or guardian or by a person licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987 except as provided in section b of 105 ILCS 5/27-6.

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 is requesting a modification of the daily physical education requirement for students at the kindergarten through fifth-grade levels. The district has in recent years noted enrollment levels that limit the availability of common areas for courses such as physical education for all of our students if offered on a daily basis. We continue to look for innovative approaches to student scheduling. 

As such, we are asking that physical education with a licensed physical education teacher be limited to 60-minutes per week. Beyond these physical education classes, our schedule includes having all students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in at least 15-minutes of physical activity education (PEA). PEA is in addition to the daily lunchtime recess, and will allow all students time for movement and opportunities for large and small group activities. On top of daily recess and PEA, every effort will be made by general education staff to provide structured classroom activities that require movement and fitness for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Please note that the middle school schedules for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade will continue to include daily physical education classes with a licensed physical education teacher.

As authorized in Section 2-3.25g of the School Code [105 ILCS 5], an eligible applicant, as defined in 2-3.25g(a) or any Independent Authority established under Section 2-3.25f-5 of the School Code, may petition for:

  1. Approval of waivers or modifications of State Board of Education rules and of modifications of School Code mandates, which may be requested to meet the intent of the rule or mandate in a more effective, efficient or economical manner or when necessary to stimulate innovation or to improve student performance (Section 2-3.25g(b) of the School Code); or
  2. Approval of waivers of School Code mandates, which may be requested when necessary to stimulate innovation or to improve student performance or the intent of the mandate in a more effective, efficient or economical manner (Section 2-3.25g(b) of the School Code).

To submit a public comment, please email [email protected] with the subject, “Public Comment,” by 7 p.m. on the date of the meeting. Your message must include your first and last name in order to be read aloud.