In December of 1997, the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado learned that they were going to experience some budget cuts. Fearing that PE could be one of the programs cut, they began a fact-finding search for information and resources that could best support the importance of having PE as a subject in their school district. Diane Ruby began her search for such information by sending the following e-mail to the NASPE listserv (formerly known as the USPE Listserv).
TO: USPE Listserv Participants
DATE: December 18, 1997
Our district could possibly be looking at cutting an estimated 1 -3.5 million dollars worth of programs and "electives". Naturally, physical education could be one of the programs cut. We are just now setting up our resources and factual information in many areas.
Where we could use all the input you could give would be in the areas of factual information about the value/worth of physical education programs in schools as it relates to higher scores academically. We are anticipating the struggle with the literacy content and its relation to physical education.
I would appreciate any information, direction, and suggestions as how, where, who we can contact to literally knock some people off their feet with the factual research concerning the benefits of physical education. This could be in the form of the benefits of how it helps kids become more healthy and active or if you have information about how it helps improve literacy scores that would be helpful as well.
This e-mail resulted in a number of responses from the USPE Listserv participants. Diane and Val Kohlman used this information and the other data to put together a substantial packet of information that they eventually shared with the school board. Each took notes on the information they read and compiled handouts for their meetings and for the administration. These notes and handouts are shown at the links below:
Handouts/Notes For Meetings (Part I-includes some references)
Handouts/Notes For Meetings (Part II-includes some references)
In the end, the St. Vrain Valley School District PE teachers showed the value of PE enough that they fought off elimination and cuts for at least one more year.
Submitted by Diane Ruby and Val Kohlman who are Physical Eductors in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont and Niwot, CO. Thanks so much for sharing your collected information with PE Central!