The school board learned of an online physical education course that was offered to Menomonie High School students for the first time this summer.
The course was created and run by Matt Riley, physical education teacher and coach, who explained at Monday’s meeting that participation in the course lays groundwork for a lifetime of physical fitness and teaches students to take responsibility for their health.
In addition to the physical benefits, the course taught students about self-discipline, goal setting, stress management and teamwork.
All students who participated in the 10-week course were required to wear a Polar fitness watch which tracked their activity, heart rate and amount of calories burned. The online portal allowed students to track their activity and include which type of activity they were doing.
“The class really allowed students who wanted to take it to open up their schedule more so they can have more opportunities during the school year,” Riley said.
One student who was able to open up her schedule was senior Hannah Mommsen. She said the class allowed her to take a UW-Stout course during the 2016-17 school year and also obtain her gym credit over the summer so she could graduate.
Mommsen said she would get up at 6 a.m. to go swimming and could get her 7 p.m. run in as well. She also added that she was able to do all her workouts and stay on top of the course while in Europe.
“I learned a lot more in this class than I ever have in regular gym class,” she said. “I hate online classes with a passion. ... I thought this one was really good because it allowed me to get all my workouts in, since I work out all the time anyway.”
On top of the physical activity requirements, the course also required students to complete two projects. In addition to doing research about the importance of sleep, target heart rate, staying hydrated and warm ups and cool downs, the students also created their own healthy meal plans.
Riley is encouraged by the success of the course and hopes to continue running the class next summer and beyond.
SDMA receives Homework Gap grant
Ten “hot spots” will be available for students in the SDMA this year after Katie Krueger, director of technology services, applied for and received a grant that will provide Internet access for students who may not have access at home.
These “hot spots” are devices that middle and high school students can check out from the school and take home to use for up to three days. The devices are wired through Verizon and can be connected anywhere Verizon service is available.
Special software is installed in the devices that add a filter to limit access to research-related websites only and disables access to any video streaming services.
Six devices will be available at the high school, while four will be available at the middle school. The grant will allow the district to have the devices for a 10-month period. The grant coincides with the district’s new 1:1 M-Powered Learning objective, which provides all students at the high school and middle school levels with Chromebooks.
Krueger said 733 Chromebooks were checked out at the middle school and 858 devices were checked out at the high school prior to the start of the school year start. An additional 20-25 devices are expected to be checked out by new enrollments or late check outs.
In another matter, Kevin Tomaszweski, new director of buildings and grounds, informed the board of the issues relating to storm water backing up at the middle school. He said the middle school drainage is significant mainly at the front drive area and in the back near the storage shed.
Tomaszweski said the water has been an issue since the building was built and is looking at installing drains to remedy the problem. Arrows have been painted on the pavement at the front of the school to direct traffic away from the flooded areas.