State reviews physical activity standards for schools

SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – In your school watch, Wednesday, the State Board of Education will review how much physical activity your kids are getting in school.

The state’s Healthy Active Children Policy requires 30 minutes of daily exercise in elementary and middle schools.

Every school has to submit forms saying whether they meet the minimum requirements, and if not, what steps they’re taking to get there. We’re digging into these numbers for local school districts.

While most schools meet the minimum requirements, some fall short of the recommended numbers by the state. The state recommends 150 minutes of weekly P.E. for elementary students and 225 minutes of weekly healthful living for middle school students. Onslow County Schools reports 100% compliance. Pitt County reports 12 schools meet recommendations and 18 fall short. Carteret County reports 10 schools meet recommendations and 3 do not.

Greene County reports 3 schools meet guidelines, and 1 school falls short by a long shot. Greene County Middle School reports no consistent physical activity for all students.

Lead nurse Kathy Dail says they’re trying to think of innovative ways to resolve this.

“We have implemented energizers, which the teachers would integrate physical activity with an academic concept,” Dail said.

Superintendent Patrick Miller attributes this to difficult schedules and less funding from the General Assembly.

“Through the recession, we had to end up losing one of those P.E. teachers. So now, we’re still fortunate we have 2 physical education teachers that are fully employed at Greene County Middle School, but as recently as 2 years ago we had 3 and could serve more kids,” Miller said.

Miller says they will continue to advocate for an additional P.E. teacher to help resolve this.

The Healthy Active Children Annual Report shows across the state, 31% of elementary schools and 37% of middle schools meet these recommendations.

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