Why Another Year? - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Islander Times News

Why Another Year?

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Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:37 pm

Students question the necessity of a second year of physical education.

At CHS, students are required to spend freshman year in a Physical Education/Health class and devote another year to a second PE class, like weightlifting or dance. Alternatively, participation in two seasons of a sport counts as a second year of PE. Oftentimes, the options available for gathering the necessary credits don’t work for everyone, and students find that the second-year PE requirement becomes a major obstacle on the road to graduation.

If a student wanted to focus solely on academics in high school and spend more time in the library than on the soccer field, he or she might feel that their after-school time would be wasted at endless practices, games and team dinners. Furthermore, if a student wanted to load up on AP credits to get a headstart in college, they might not want to run the risk of decreasing the rigor of their curriculum by enrolling in a dance or weightlifting class. Come senior year, he or she might be unsure of how to fulfill the requirement. That PE credit may actually cost that student because he or she would have to pay the tuition for an online or community college course.

While colleges do value extracurriculars like sports, they don’t specifically look for a second year of PE. A university might be willing to accept a student regardless of whether they spend an hour per day in a dance class, but that student would trapped in high school until he or she fulfilled a graduation requirement.

Some students are simply not athletic. Taking that extra PE class or sport could be frustrating, as well as a major waste of time, for a student who would rather be pursuing academic interests like Debate Team or Academic League. Perhaps students that are thriving in multiple AP classes should be allowed to opt out of the second-year requirement.

The trickiest situation involves off-island CoSA students, who can’t take a sport because their CoSA classes conflict with practice. Their only options are fitting a school PE class into their schedules or paying for an online or college course.

A simple solution to this dilemma would involve the school widening its range of options. Adding an online PE class through the school would be the easiest option for students, as it wouldn’t force them to pay money to be able to graduate. A school-sponsored online PE course would be ideal for interdistrict transfers and other off-islanders because the assignments would be primarily online. CoSA students would find relief at being able to work this online program into their busy schedules. The second year of PE could be completed from home at a student’s own pace.

Another alternative would be to look at students on a case-by-case basis. Rather than generalizing and assuming that everyone needs to be involved in a sport or take a weightlifting class, each student’s requirement should be examined individually. If an individual lives far from CHS and has no way of partaking in a sport, then perhaps he or she should be excused. If students are taking tough classes and want to get an academic scholarship to college, maybe they shouldn’t have to spend time on endeavors that don’t move them closer to their goals.

With so few options and so many students unsure of how to fulfill their PE requirement, some seniors are left scrambling to figure out their credits in the run-up to graduation. There has to be some sort of alternative for students who can’t work around a second year.

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