Friday, August 26, 2011

What happened with gym class?

The T&G article covers what was a confusing conversation pretty well ('though the headline writer was going for cute rather than clear). For those who wonder what happened last night with the proposal to have sports (and outside activities, like dance and karate) count for gym credit in high school: it got sent back to subcommittee. Here's why:
Currently kids in high school in Worcester have to take a year (two semesters, four quarters) of gym in high school. The item proposed by some of my colleagues on the committee would allow team sports to count for that credit. This was done out of concern for kids who are maxing out their AP credits, for example, and are trying to pack more into the day.
The administration's response added outside activities--dance class, karate, anything where the student can get a "supervisor" to sign off--to count as well.
What was not clear from the written response to the item, but came out in questions, is the state requires gym in all four years of high school. Worcester thus has not been complying with state law. The administration's proposal would be available only to students who had already completed their in-classroom gym requirement. It thus would not replace the current gym requirement.
This came as a surprise to most of the committee--most of us didn't even know we were out of compliance--and clearly this is a different conversation. The administrative proposal is only due to staffing and (possibly) space issues, as we'd have to hire more gym teachers to offer gym for all four years.
Either way, we're going to need to change how we handle gym in high school.
So, back to subcommittee for more information!

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