Hudson -- A new pilot program which will be offered at the high school next year will not only bulk up an academic resume, but bolster physical fitness and perhaps jump start the day's learning processes for students.
Beginning with the 2013-14 fall semester, high school students will be offered an early morning elective physical education/weight training class from 7 to 7:50 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
"This is an exciting opportunity," Superintendent Steve Farnsworth told the Board during its April 22 meeting.
The district has been discussing the program for about two years, according to Doreen Osmun, Hudson's director of curriculum and instruction.
Studies have shown an association between early morning physical fitness classes and learning, High School Unit Principal Paul Milcetich said. The same studies showed that early morning physical fitness activity resulted in higher test scores in math and English. Classes later in the day did not show the same test results.
Students will receive one credit for the class, according to Principal Brian Wilch.
The class will be cost neutral to the district. Teachers who are assigned to the class will arrive early and not have a 10th period, Wilch said.
The class will also not interfere with the regular school schedule, which begins 8 a.m.
Seniors will be offered the class first, because many of the students drive to class, and those who take the elective will need to find their own transportation, Wilch said.
Board member Gary Mushock described the program as outstanding.
"I think this is terrific," Mushock said. "I think the military learned a long time ago that early physical fitness leads to sharper minds and better prepared people."
The fitness class is "not to cater to athletes," Farnsworth said. The fitness program will be tailored to the individual needs of each student enrolled.