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South Colonie Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant

Roessleville runnersThe South Colonie Central School District was notified in the fall of 2013 that it was one of only 11 school districts in New York State to be awarded a three-year, $1.7 million PEP grant to help initiate, expand and enhance Physical Education programs for children.

The Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) provides grants to LEAs and community-based organizations (CBOs) to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. Designed as a three-year fund for the improvement of education, South Colonie’s award of $1.7 million is among the highest that was awarded in New York State this year. full story

Frequently Asked Questions About PEP

Throughout the course of this grant, middle school physical education teacher Karen Bonitatibus will be serving the district as the full-time PEP Grant Program Manager. Joseph Guardino, our Director of Physical Education and Athletics, will be serving as our PEP Grant Administrator. As part of the grant there will be a need for curriculum revisions and changes in technology. The following staff will have additional duties to fulfill this need : Joseph Repko - PEP grant part-time coordinator; Mike Palmer- PEP Elementary lead teacher; Wendy Kelley- PEP Middle School lead teacher and Kevin Halburian - PEP High School lead teacher.

South Colonie CSD is expected to receive $1.7 million over the course of three years. The breakdown roughly is $717,000 in year one, $577,000 in years two and 462,000 in year three, pending annual federal funding.

This funding is for the promotion of overall health and wellness of the students of South Colonie, through encouraging students to be physically active inside and outside of school. Our goal is to help our students make the connections between physical activity, nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Yes. All funds must be used for physical education, with some resources going towards our Health Department. The resources cannot be used to offset budget reductions in other areas, staffing, or to construct new facilities.

Over the next three years this grant will fund:

  • Various PE and fitness equipment, such as exercise bikes, rowers, treadmills and elliptical trainers for PE classes.

  • Heart rate monitors to fairly measure student effort and increase fitness.

  • Staff development for new curriculum pieces and for incorporating new equipment into classes.

  • Various presenters to speak to students about physical activity, nutrition and positive life choices.

  • A South Colonie community health fair.

  • New web-based fitness assessment software for tracking student fitness levels ... and more!

In order to maintain funding for the PEP Grant, the district must show how its physical education programs are affecting students in a positive manor. As a result, the district needs to collect data from a randomly selected sample of students. We are required to perform data collection three times in year one of the grant to establish a baseline and then two times a year in the subsequent years.

Because this is a random process, it is possible that a South Colonie student could be selected for data collection more than once or not at all. The data collected is purely confidential and will not be associated with your child’s name at any time. The district will use these samples of student data as indicators of student fitness district-wide.

If your child is selected, you will be notified in advance via email and/or a letter home. As part of the data collection, students are asked to complete an age-appropriate, nutrition and activity survey and to participate in our normal fitness testing evaluation in PE class.
Each student in the sample will also wear a pedometer (a small device that measures steps). The pedometer is very small and will be clipped to their shoe/sneaker. It can be transferred from shoe to shoe very easily. The students will be asked to wear the pedometers for 4-7 days (depending on their age) during normal activity, including activity such as walking in school or out to dinner with their family. At the end of the specified time period, students will turn in their pedometer to their PE teacher.

Yes. As always, helping students to be responsible is key. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated in helping your child keep track of the pedometer and returning it to their PE teacher at the requested time. Thank you in advance.

No. If your child loses the pedometer, please keep an eye out for it and if found, turn it in at anytime (even a year or more later!) to your child’s PE teacher. Grant funds would have to be used to replace each lost pedometer, and that uses money for other enhancements we could make. We understand that accidents do happen and we appreciate your help in minimizing lost pedometers.

Changes to the curriculum and equipment will be gradual, but positive and long lasting as we use this amazing opportunity to make an impact on the overall health and wellness of the children and families in our community. Typically most noticeable changes occur toward last year and a half of the grant. The first half involves properly researching purchases, training staff, and installing new items.

Check this website for periodic PEP updates and in newsletters that are sent home in the future, and talk to your children. Please feel free to contact PEP Grant Manager Matt Stein via e-mail:

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