P.E. issue pulls in candidates

Parents who fought for flexible schedules running for high school board

The outpouring of parent support last May for a ninth-grade P.E. exemption may have a lingering effect going into the November election. Two of those supporters, one of whom was "disappointed" by the board's decision on the issue, are running for seats on the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District board.

Kevin Kramer and Doug Moore, both parents of incoming freshmen, came to the May 12 board meeting to make their case to allow ninth-graders an exemption from physical education class.

The idea was that freshmen with ambitious schedules that include after-school sports, an instrument and a foreign language should be allowed an exemption from physical education classes during sports seasons. A student who participates in two to three sports would spend minimal time taking P.E. throughout the year.

Board members had reviewed the state education code before the meeting to determine whether ninth-graders could be legally exempt from P.E., and ultimately decided to look at ways they could make the exemption work -- but not in time for this school year.

Kramer, along with his wife and son, spoke at the board meeting to make a case for the exemption. He said the board's final decision was disappointing, and led him to consider running for a spot on the board.

Kramer and Moore are two of the seven candidates running for the high school district board. Candidates include Fiona Walter and Dana Bunnett, along with incumbents Debbie Torok and Joe Mitchner. Moore could not be reached before the Voice's deadline for this story, and the other candidates were featured in previous stories in the Voice.

Kevin T. Kramer

Kramer is a Yahoo employee with two sons, one an incoming freshman and the other a seventh-grader at Graham. He said his interest in the district stems from his kids' high school future, and how the ninth-grade exemption from P.E. was handled.

"The (decision) led me to want to try and change things, that policy included," he said. "I want my second son to have that opportunity."

Kramer said he would work for more flexible schedules to help kids get the most out of high school, give them the experience they need going into college, and maximize opportunities. Kramer said he wants to accommodate students with packed school schedules without forcing them to take an early morning zero period.

As for what courses are offered by the district, Kramer said he went through the course catalog with his son, and the school district has done a good job offering a diverse set of classes. He said the district could look at ways of expanding online classes, and coordinate with colleges to offer more advanced courses.

Kramer said he has teaching experience as an adjunct professor at a law school for four years, and has a strong legal background managing a team of 20 people and a "huge" fiscal budget. He said the school district is in a good spot financially, and that the facilities aren't in a state of disrepair -- and he wants to keep it that way.

"I think the school district is in pretty good shape, and I aim to maintain and improve that," Kramer said.


Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Both these gentlemen are great candidates. They are business people who have children in the school. They understand on a daily basis what the students experience every day. We need 3 new candidates on the board. I have been to too many board meeting and the old board does not ask questions, or even try to understand the issues. They are tired and bored. Again they all follow along under Dr Groves. They have served long enough. Lets get some new energized blood. Change is good and what this valley thrives on.

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