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Jamesville-DeWitt: Hip hop at the BOE?

Second grade students from Tecumseh Elementary School put on a show for the board of education at its Jan. 7 meeting. The students, along with physical education teacher Janet Thomas, demonstrated dance and exercise activities with the new CDs that are played during the day. Thomas explained that the CDs help to meet the state mandated requirements for gym. The CDs include jumping, dancing and a variety of music and directions for the children to follow. After explaining the set up, Thomas pushed play.

Sitting on the stage with a table and chairs, the students stood as the disc instructed them to stand and push in their chairs. They stood at attention around the table and listened as the disc explained that they were to follow the directions given and stop when the music ceased.

Thomas' voice then instructed the pupils to jump up and down as if they were skipping rope. As the music kicked in, the children followed along with the instructions. When the music stopped, so did the jumping.

Next came a series of jumps including side to side jumps, forward and back and finally out and back together. The children giggled as they performed for the board and members of the audience. The final exercise was a stretching move that concluded the demonstration.

Thomas explained that the recording and exercises are done every school day for five minutes. This adds an extra 30 minutes of physical activity. Many teachers play it during mid-day when the kids are getting restless, she said.

In addition to their regular gym classes and the CDs, the students at Tecumseh practice other activities like yoga, brain gym and responsive games.

Education of homeless students

The board of education had its first reading of a policy on educating students that are homeless. The policy needs to be put in place because of a state mandate that requires education to children in dire situations. Children have been enrolled in the Jamesville-DeWitt school system after fires, moving into shelters or other desperate situations, said Superintendent Dr. Alice Kendrick.

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