Recent legislation from the Ohio Department of Education has led to a recommendation from the Delaware City Schools curriculum department that would allow high school physical education exemptions.

Recent legislation from the Ohio Department of Education has led to a recommendation from the Delaware City Schools curriculum department that would allow high school physical education exemptions.

District curriculum director Amy Piancentino described the proposal to the school board Monday. High school students who have completed at least two full seasons of interscholastic athletics, cheerleading or marching band would be eligible. In 2007, ODE allowed districts to implement such policies.

Parent Linda Hurley, who was a member of the district's committee working on the exemption policy, said the exemption was merely that, and the half-credit earned by taking physical education would have to be made up elsewhere.

"It's not a free ride out of a physical education class," Hurley said, adding that the exemption would open up students' schedules for other courses of study. There are no plans to change any part of the physical education program, and the committee does not believe the policy would weaken the current program in any way.

Hurley said 671 students are involved in the high school's athletic programs and 80 are marching band members, although there is no way to accurately estimate how many of those students would take advantage of the exemption. Hurley said she believes many of them might have gotten the physical education credit out of the way already, but said implementing the policy would allow younger students to plan ahead.

The board asked if any other districts had similar policies. Hurley said that, as the legislation was passed only last year, there really hasn't been time for other schools to establish such plans.

Piancentino also presented the board with a policy to integrate a new math textbook for seventh-graders at Dempsey Middle School.

She said the academic standard committee held a one-year study and believes the book will "better align" the math program with state standards.

She said the committee felt that the new Holt textbooks are substantially supported by supplemental material. The cost of purchasing the books is estimated at about $25,200.

If the board approves the purchase, meetings will be held to introduce parents to the new program and aid them in working with their children at home and online. The board expects to take action on both proposed policy changes at their next meeting.

In other business, board members:

Were updated on the current services offered by the special education department. Next year, the department will lose a $67,000 grant that it has received for several years. The district has applied for a smaller replacement grant, worth about $10,000, and does not anticipate that any changes will be made in services offered to special needs students.

Congratulated student board member Kurt Kostyu, who received a National Merit scholarship.

Heard superintendent Mary Anne Ashworth say the strategic planning committee is ending its work and preparing plans that will be presented to the board at the May 19 meeting.