PE requirement limits students

By Rebecca Nussbaum

With seven classes, Ryan Lash ’12 faces a full course load, and instead of having a lunch period, she must take yoga to complete her physical education requirement.

“I go to Cardio Barre every weekend,” she said. “I think a lot of people do things outside of school that they don’t get credit for.”

Other students face the same problems. Charlie Andrews ’13, a self-coached rock climber, trains 20 to 25 hours per week, but still has to take P.E.

In the past, independent P.E. allowed students playing a sport not offered at school to get P.E. credit, Athletic Director Terry Barnum said. The program was discontinued because coaches struggled to prove that all students actually deserved credit.

“Once in a while, we’d have a student who claimed to be doing something outside of school that they were not doing or not to the extent they wanted us to believe they were,” he said.

Barnum says that on-campus P.E. provides students with valuable interactions with their peers.

“The way you interact with your peers in an athletic setting is a lot different than you would in an academic setting,” Barnum said.

Andrews finds having to do P.E. “unnecessary” because he exercises as much as most varsity athletes, and fitting in P.E. class can be challenging, he said.

“I’m probably going to have to drop Human Anatomy and Physiology because I don’t have any blocks,” Andrews said.

Since the department lessened the requirements from five trimesters at the Upper School to six trimesters throughout high school, Barnum feels that the requirement is very manageable.

“You can be done with it in tenth grade,” he said. “If you take three [trimesters] in ninth and three [trimesters] in tenth, you have your full junior and senior year.”