For Class of 2015 and Beyond, In-House Gym is not Required

A new state mandate may make in-house physical education a thing of the past.

High school policy now states that students are no longer required to take two semesters of in-house physical education and can now earn PE credit through the state-mandated credit flexibility plan.

This policy change is the result of new state guidelines for physical education put into effect this school year. Now each student, either taking gym or doing independent study, will be evaluated by the school so that it can be determined whether they receive credit. The Ohio Department of Education states, “The physical education evaluation is designed for all students who participate in physical education. This includes students who participate in adapted physical education.” Adapted physical education includes independent study. As long as students complete the required amount of physical education and the evaluation by the school is completed, the way they complete it does not matter.

Physical Education department Chairman Stuart Gilbert said that he wants to ensure the policy puts kids’ health first. “We want to make sure it has the educational backbone and rigor of the in-house physical education program,” he said.  

This year fewer students have elected in-house PE. Last year at this time, 339 students were signed up for Advanced PE and 291 students were signed up for 9PE. This year 330 people are signed up for Advanced PE and 286 for 9 PE.

Gilbert said some students would rather do in-house PE because it offers advantages. “You know that you’re getting it done,” when you have physical education in your class schedule. He said that the credit-flexibility program is yet another activity in a student’s busy life. Gilbert also said he believes the traditional PE program is more convenient because parents do not have to absorb any costs of programs done outside of school.

Freshman Allison Gao opted to do independent study instead of in-house gym. She said that if she had been required to take gym, she wouldn’t have been able to take all of the classes she wanted to. Gao plays tennis on the girl’s tennis team and thinks that she gets more exercise than she would in gym class. By playing tennis, she said, “You already get your exercise.”  

A version of this article appeared in print on 19 September 2012, on page 4 of The

Shakerite.

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