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6/13/2024 Assembly approves Rep. Casimiro and Sen. DiMario’s bill allowing students to help with IEP physical education classes
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly today approved legislation (2024-H 7561, 2024-S 2280) sponsored by Rep. Julie A. Casimiro and Sen. Alana M. DiMario that allows cities and towns to authorize “partner” programs to assist students with an individualized education plan (IEP) for specially designed physical education classes.  “Partner” means any student who enrolls in a specially designed physical education class which is part of another student’s IEP to aid the student.
The legislators introduced the legislation on behalf of Ryan Lukowicz, a constituent and senior at North Kingstown High School, who takes part in an Adaptive Physical Education (APE) class due to his total blindness.  Ryan described to Representative Casimiro and Senator DiMario how “partners” are difficult to come by due to students’ own physical education credit requirements.  The legislation would allow “partners” to receive physical education credits for helping another student during their APE.
“Ryan has been an inspiration to me for many years, including when he recently served as the House of Representatives’ first blind student page for two years.  When he approached me regarding this legislation, which he came up with for his senior project, I immediately knew that the bill would not only help Ryan, but numerous other students across the state with IEPs and APEs.  This is a great piece of legislation that will be inclusive for all students and foster compassion, community and partnership among students from all walks of life,” said Representative Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter).
“Partners programs are extremely beneficial to all of the students that participate and it's important that we allow school districts to adopt this change.  Allowing students to earn their graduation credit requirements while helping their fellow students earn their own physical education credits in an adapted format will enrich the experiences of all who participate.  I am always happy to work with students on civics projects, and Ryan’s idea is a great piece of legislation that will enhance and strengthen our school communities across the state,” said Senator DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham).           
The bill now heads to the governor for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903