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ELK RIVER, Minn. -- The Elk River School District is considering cutting back on physical education in schools so that their 13,000 students can take a wider variety of classes.

The school board will soon vote on a plan that would implement new technology and foreign language classes for some grade levels while at the same time lessening some of the hours students spend in physical education and music classes.

Currently, students in the elementary schools have four days a week in a physical education and music class schedule, and one day of art.

The change proposes that kindergarten through fifth grade go into a day rotation that adds technology classes

"This takes out 12 hours of P.E. over the course of the year," Superintendent Dr. Mark Bezek said.

Middle school students in sixth and eighth grade would lose one quarter of health class. A foreign language class would be added at the eighth grade level, and a technology class at the sixth grade level.

In high school, students would no longer be required to have two credits of physical education to graduate. Instead, they would only need one, with a second credit being available for a fine arts course.

It is a change that is not being met without resistance, Dr. Bezek admits. But he says one needs to stay competitive.

"These are things that we are not doing that a lot of districts around us are doing and frankly we lose about 2,500 kids that live in our district to other schools for other educational opportunities," Dr. Bezak said.

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