physical education

physical education

Elementary Students Need Physical Education, Even if the School’s Budget Doesn’t Cover It

elementary school gym classJessica Mazeau teaches physical education at Clifford School in Redwood City, California, five days a week. Her students are in kindergarten through fifth grade and a typical class includes activities such as keep-away with basketballs, hula hooping, and jumping rope. However, Mazeau does not work for the school or for the school district, nor is she a volunteer. Instead, she works for a private company, Rhythm and Moves, which was hired by the school’s parent-teacher organization, to provide physical education and activities for the students after the school’s budget cuts required it to eliminate its programs for students in all grades, except sixth through eighth.

“Clearly, if we don’t fund it the kids are not getting any active outside, except for minimum recess time and lunch time,” said Marilyn Ezrin, co-president of the Clifford School Parent-Teacher Organization.

Along with music education, physical education is becoming a luxury that schools simply cannot afford due to budget cuts and a hurting economy. However, with state requirements in California mandating that students receive 200 minutes of PE classes every 10 days, the responsibility to fulfill this requirement has fallen on classroom teachers.

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Kids Opting Out of Taking P.E. Classes

In a time when childhood obesity is on the rise, more and more states have started allowing students to waive taking physical education classes. The number of states allowing students to opt out of P.E. classes has risen from 27 to 36 percent since 2006, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, or NASPE.

There is a long list of reasons that students can give for not taking a P.E. class. In some states, students can use cheerleading, marching band and interscholastic sports as a reason to receive a waiver from P.E. The number of states allowing students to sit out due to disabilities, religious reasons and health issues has risen from 18 to 30 since 2006, as well. There are more waivers received and granted in high schools than other school levels. The underlying reason for this increase in waivers is said to be a push to save money on a district wide level for schools. Some schools have even gone so far as to offer online physical education classes. This type of format combines the study of health and nutrition with students exercising on their own.

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Pennsylvania School District Combats Childhood Obesity

kids exerciseChildhood obesity is on the rise and a new study has even shown that kids whose parents are overweight are more likely to become overweight themselves.

This is becoming a very serious public health issue, since being overweight or obese can cause a whole slew of health complications, such as high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, and many more.

What can we do to help kids stay healthy and avoid all of these problems?

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