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High School Diversifies Gym Class Options for Upperclassmen

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Copyright 2013 Journal Sentinel Inc.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)
September 24, 2013 Tuesday
Early Edition
Lifestyles; Pg. 3
689 words
PHS students learn life lessons in phy ed | New curriculum encourages students to stay active
MELISSA GRAHAM; mgraham@jrn.com, Lake Country Reporter (Hartland, WI)

When you think back to gym class, maybe you are imagining the dreaded rope climb, hanging from the dusty popcorn ceiling. Pewaukee High School is trying to challenge all that.

A new physical education program, which went into effect this year, aims to offer a morepersonalized learning environment while meeting the needs - or at least the interests - of young people who want to stay active.

Student Sage McCormick, who is now in an Outdoor Pursuits class, said that the traditional gym classes used to be boring. Now, she's happy to have gym early in the day and said her class is competitive in a new way. "I really love the class, and we get to go outside to hike or kayak.I'm an outdoorsy person, so coming outdoors and into the water first thing in the morning is really refreshing."

In general, students are required to take a 1.5 credits in physical education to graduate. Each physical education course is worth.5 credits, and all classes still have a fitness training and assessment component to them.

"They must have three semesters of PE in three different years as a graduation requirement in Wisconsin. Our goal is to interest students to keep up their fitness in elective classes throughout their four years in high school," explained teacher Karen Spurr.

While the freshman are all required to take an introductory course - to familiarize themselves with the facilities and programs at Pewaukee High School - the upperclassmen have a variety of options this year.

"While going into classes of their choosing, the participation and intensity of the class has picked up, too," said teacher Mike Basile.

New classes include Outdoor Pursuits, Net Games, Dance & Movement, Team Sports, Personal Fitness & Wellness and Conditioning & Weight Training. These replace the moretraditional gym classes, which Spurr described as one-size-fitsall.

"We also aim to establish exercise links in the community for our students with field trip visits, guest instructors and nearby facilities promoting lifetime fitness both in and out of school," Spurr said.

The Outdoor Pursuits class, for example, partners with experts in the area such as Sherri Kayaks Outdoor Programs LLC. Under supervision of teachers, Brookfield Park and Recreations crew and trainers with Sherri Kayaks, the students got to try out what they've been learning.

On Thursday, Basile worked with Koha Yoga to teach the students more about yoga. Basile explained that a lot of area partnerships are being tapped to get the kids out of class and gaining more in their physical education.

"It's about getting kids active and trying to find that nichesomething they are interested in and can keep well beyond high school," Basile said.

Classes include: Outdoor Pursuits: hiking, kayaking, survival skills, orienteering, geocaching, inline skating, snowshoe, rock climbing, adventure racing Net Games: tennis, badminton, pickleball, ping-pong, volleyball, beach volleyball, eclipseball, volley soccer Dance & Movement Fitness: Zumba, hip-hop cardiokickboxing, Tae Bo, ballroom, swing, and ethnic dance, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu Team Sports Level 1: soccer, speedball, floor hockey, basketball, ultimate frisbee, softball, whiffleball, flag football, korfball, team building activities Team Sports Level 2: A continuation of Team Games I for advanced players who seek a competitive workout through games. Officiating certifications will be a component of this course.

Personal Fitness & Wellness: Individual workouts including cardio and core workouts, nutrition, video workouts, walking Basic Conditioning & Weight Training: Strength and toning workouts in the fitness center combined with track, cardio and core workouts Advanced Conditioning & Weight Training: For the serious weight trainer seeking workouts to improve athletic performance or prepare for careers with a fitness component.

Train to Compete: An online class individualized to prepare the student to train and compete in a chosen event (ex: triathlon, adventure race, etc.) Meetings and training adjustments would be arranged throughout the semester with the teacher.

Copyright 2013 Journal Sentinel, All Rights Reserved.

September 25, 2013

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