An idea to consider…

Brianna Commerford

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I have an idea for Westwood High School’s Board of Education, administration, and physical education department to consider. This idea will revolutionize all future physical education classes if put into action: I believe that gym class should be split up into seasons, much like sports seasons, rather than being split up into four quarters.

If a student plays a sport during a specific season, they should be exempt from gym class and instead, get a study hall. The student is already getting more than enough physical activity during their 2-3 hour practice after school. Because of this long practice, they barely have time to get their work done at home.

Gym class should be turned into a study hall where students can fully utilize that hour of time. They could get their homework done that they may not be able to do after school because of practice. The student would both being doing work and getting physical activity, in a more realistic, manageable way.

I am a cheerleader in the fall, I take a break in the winter, and I run track in the spring. During the fall and spring, I am so busy with practice after school. When I get home, I am exhausted from a long day at school and a rough practice, and barely have time to do homework.

It is not that I am not, nor are other students, incapable of managing both school and practice. There are, however, more efficient ways to remain physically active while also staying on top of school work. For example, in the winter, I would participate in physical education since I am doing no other physical activity, and I actually have time to get work done after school. This is an idea to think about, and if put into action, it would help students everywhere.

The following are the standards of the state that gym class must meet: (http://www.state.nj.us/education/genfo/faq/faq_chpe.htm)

  • Standard 1: Demonstrates competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
  • Standard 2: Demonstrates understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.
  • Standard 3: Participates regularly in physical activity.
  • Standard 4: Achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
  • Standard 5: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.
  • Standard 6: Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

If the state considers these standards, they will see that playing a sport fulfills every one of these points, and more. Doing a sport consists of learning all of these standards, and applying them everyday. An athlete uses these standards every day on the field, court, or sideline, even more so than most could do in a phys ed class.

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