District 87 has added a “zero hour” physical education class for Bloomington Junior High School music students to have options that won’t force them to choose between music and other electives.
The schedule change comes after upset parents spoke for more than an hour at the May 12 school board meeting arguing the district’s practice should be “music and, not music or.”
In a video to music parents, posted on YouTube, the district said, “You shared and we listened” and school officials “worked together to identify a solution that would create more opportunities for students.”
The early-morning P.E. class, starting at 7:30, will fulfill state requirements while freeing up a period later in the day so students can take music and another elective in the “Arts for Life” sequence.
Arts for Life classes, in addition to music, include art, digital media, robotics and, for eighth-graders, foreign language.
“We hope it opens more doors for kids to take music programs,” said Superintendent Barry Reilly.