New PE exemption policy

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As of this school year, a new policy has been implemented in the Mountain View High School physical education department. The policy states that athletes enrolled in seven classes, in addition to sports have the choice to opt out of their PE class.  They are not required to come to PE class when involved in an MVHS sport, but are to return to PE class when the sport is over.   It has so far affected more than 20 students.  

Barbara Kaufman is one of our PE teachers here at MVHS.

“[The policy] hasn’t changed the physical education curriculum in any way.  Students are still getting the same standards based, common core curriculum as always,” Kaufman said. “We are working on how we can catch athletes up when they return to us and what critical pieces they need to succeed in our class once they return since we scaffold and transfer concepts from one unit to another.”

Although the policy does not have a negative impact in terms of curriculum, students are still missing out on participation and the learning of critical concepts.

“Students aren’t getting all the important knowledge needed for later use in life, such as biomechanics and nutrition concepts,” Kaufman said.  

In PE class, students learn about how to stay both physically and mentally healthy through videos and worksheets given to them.  If students are not present, they will simply not gain this knowledge.

In addition, athletes taking advantage of this policy are missing out on the social aspects of PE, such as cooperation and individual growth.

For example, Kyra Palmbush, a freshman here at MVHS, decided to opt out of PE while playing volleyball last season.  Sleep was the main reason for her decision because of her 0 period PE and busy schedule in general.  

“I think it is helpful because it allows me to get the rest I need during my sport season. I don’t think I’m missing out because I am getting a lot of exercise with my sport,” Palmbush said.  

Another reason for choosing to stay in PE is to earn extra credits. Freshman Asha Peddada decided to stay in PE for 0 period because she wanted to  earn extra credits and continue to build new relationships with friends.

Overall, our PE teacher do not support this policy.

“Physical Education is not the same as athletics. We teach all students many concepts.  We are trying to educate the whole student, both physically, mentally and socially,” Kaufman said.  

Annie Rustum
Annie, a junior, is ready for her third year in Oracle. In her free time she loves looking at pictures of puppies, scrolling through social media, reading the politics section in the New York Times, and spending time with friends and family.
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