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Nov 16, 2018
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

Health & Safety: PEP Grant

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PEP News
Physical Educational Program Grant

In fall 2012, the BH-BL school district was fortunate to receive a three-year Carol White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant from the federal government for a total of $1.17 million. BH-BL was one of only 56 school districts in the nation to receive a PEP grant in 2012.

The grant is being used over a three-year period to improve our students' overall fitness and wellness. Many activities are planned that will help students make the connection between their physical activity, nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Here is a video that displays how the district used the grant funding and the benefits and joy it brought to BH-BL students.


Frequently Asked Questions about the PEP Grant

Q. Who is in charge of implementing the grant?

A. Throughout the course of this grant, middle school physical education teacher Geoff Leggieri will be serving the district as the full-time PEP Grant Program Manager. Bob McGuire, 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:

  • Mark Tooker and Shawn Kline - PEP Technology Specialists
  • Gary Bynon - PEP Lead Teacher
  • Laura Barry - PEP Curriculum Specialist
  • Kim Ferrie - Green Team Advisor for the supplemental award


Q. How much money will Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake receive through the PEP grant?

A. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD is expected to receive $1.17 million over the course of three years. The breakdown is $500K in year one, $350K in years two and three, pending annual federal funding.


Q. How will Burnt Hills–Ballston Lake students benefit from the PEP Grant?

A. This funding is for the promotion of overall health and wellness of the students of BH-BL, 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.


Q. Are there any restrictions to the grant?

A. Yes. All funds must be used for physical education, with some resources going towards our health and family and consumer sciences (FACS) departments. The resources cannot be used to offset budget reductions in other areas or to construct new facilities.


Q. What can we expect to see in our schools and community from the grant?

A. Over the next three years this grant will fund:

  • Various PE and fitness equipment, such as exercise bikes and elliptical trainers for PE classes.
  • Equipment for a middle school fitness center.
  • Heart rate monitors with projection systems for cardio-vascular education units.
  • 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 BH-BL community health fair.
  • New programs and equipment for students who attend our summer recreation program and/or the Glenville YMCA Y-Care program.
  • New web-based fitness assessment software for tracking student fitness levels.
  • And more!


Q. Could the grant pay for a new playground?

A. No. BH-BL has to follow the restrictions that are part of this grant. The purpose of the PEP grant is not to provide new playgrounds or facilities. The PEP grant provides funding for the development and implementation of physical education programs. As a result, funds are provided for curriculum development, teacher training, student fitness assessments, data collection and evaluations. While equipment purchases are allowed, successful grant applicants propose programs that address various aspects of a comprehensive physical education program. For more information: US Department of Education webpage


Q. Why did I receive a letter about my child participating in a study?

A. 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 do data collection five times in year one of the grant to establish a baseline and then four times a year in the subsequent years.

Because this is a random process, it is possible that a BH-BL 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.


Q. If my child is randomly selected for the evaluation of this grant, what will it mean?

A. 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 a six-question, age-appropriate, nutrition and activity survey and to participate in a cardiovascular 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.


Q. Is there anything parents can do to help their child during the data collection period?

A. 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!


Q. What happens if my child loses the pedometer? Do I have to pay for it?

A. 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.


Q. What kind of changes can I expect to see?

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.


Q. How can I find out more?

A. Check this web site 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 Geoff Leggieri via e-mail: