Optional P.E. beyond middle school

Published: Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Re "It's time to bring public school sports off the bench" (Pechthalt, March 23): Public school sports off the bench calls for a renewal of physical education classes and school sports.

These opportunities are especially important during the formative elementary and middle school years. By high school, however, many students are in interscholastic or club sports, training and competing for a minimum of 15 hours per week. As student athletes try to prepare for community college and university admissions, they must squeeze two years of required P.E. into a limited school schedule, adversely affecting choice and breadth of classes.

While some California school districts allow P.E. exemptions for high school athletes, local districts such as San Juan Unified, do not. Student athletes could better fill the P.E. time slot with another academic class, music elective, or possibly math credit recovery. A P.E. waiver for student athletes would be a reasonable, student-centered strategy for success in high school and beyond.

-- Sue Gylling, Sacramento

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