Gym opt-out on track at BC

District allowed 46 seniors to drop P.E. class this year under state regulations

— Powers said about 75 students came to his office to pick up applications for the program. About 51 students actually turned in their applications and 46 students were approved, with five pending.

The district did not give an estimate of the projected saving of the program, but another update will likely be given at the end of the year. Saving would result from a decrease in the number of P.E. classes given.

Powers said the majority of the students who opted out of physical education ended up not being able to replace it with a course because opposite their P.E. class is a science lab. Many took a study hall, and four students regained a lunch period.

“We want to make sure students are using the free period and staying in school, rather then signing out,” added Powers.

He also said he is unsure if the program would eventually be expanded to include other grade levels. While it may be possible to allow juniors in, it would be harder to allow underclassman because the district needs to make sure the students who participate meet certain fitness requirements, and to do so the students would need to take the physical fitness exam in P.E.

“I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for freshman,” Powers added.

Powers said one concern is that a student would quit their sport or activity in mid-year and then be too far behind to make up the P.E. classes in order to graduate.

After the presentation, Superintendent Tom Douglas asked if any of the students in the audience were participating in the program. One girl raised her hand and said it was an advantage because she has an after school job and she is now able to take a study hall and give more attention to her advanced classes.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to study more and do more homework that I wouldn’t have time to do when I’m getting home a 5 o’clock every night,” she said.

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