Town Square

Post a New Topic

Parents push for P.E. exemptions

Original post made on May 15, 2014

Parents and students loaded up the multipurpose room at Alta Vista High School last Monday to convince the school board to allow ninth grade P.E. exemptions

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 15, 2014, 11:41 AM

Comments (17)

Like this comment
Posted by Kay
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I hated PE, because I had scars, and the school had short shorts as the uniform. As an adult, I regret not building a health habit of exercise. I am thin, but we all need activity to be healthy. I wonder if I was in school sports or such, if activities would come easier to me now. I don't have regular activity I do. (some people's hobby is active, biking, swiming...). Maybe it's time to make PE cool! Yoga, stretching, breathing. Encourage kids to make activity of any kind part of their life. Build healthy habits :)

Like this comment
Posted by Charlene
a resident of Castro City
on May 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Charlene is a registered user.

My 9th grade daughter loves p e even though she's told her BMI is too high and she'll have to take pe again next year if she doesn't pass the state standards. She loves the pool at MVHS. She loves yoga, golf--not so much--but she keeps doing her best. Even running she doesn't mind. I think p e is very important, but maybe tailor it for the kids so they enjoy it a little more. Getting that exercise is important!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Todays PE
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm


Among other things, PE Today includes things like:

- Nutrition (understanding proteins, carbs, fats, etc)
- Developing/Monitoring personal fitness plans
- Yoga/Tennis/Golf/Swimming/Aerobics

It's different than the old days of a teacher rolling some balls out and collecting them 45 minutes later.

Like this comment
Posted by @ Charlene
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

If your Freshman is being told her BMI is too high, you better start saving up for counseling. This is classic reason for eating disorders.

Good luck

Like this comment
Posted by Today's PE
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm

But, PE today is still not as cool as it sounds. My 9th grader did not like it at all. She loved Yoga, because she was told to stretch & rest. Don't worry if you fall asleep because it means you are resting your body. She napped through yoga.

Swimming is great unless you have a daughter who has any body concerns. My daughter does not, but there was still anxiety due to who would wear a bikini, and who would wear a 1 piece. And, all the girls were nervous during 1 week of the month of PE.

Personal fitness plans where they track your BMI, etc. is really a bad idea in High School when anxiety about your body is so high. Many young girls get eating disorders in High School for those reasons.

They teach Nutrition in Health class (better than in PE from what I hear)and every student must take that class. A sport does gives you a healthy way of learning life-long exercising.

Like this comment
Posted by Rich
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

My recent-graduate son had to take 2 years of P.E. (one with Kaufman). He said it was a waste of time, with more time spent arguing with students about things like dressing out or texting during class than teaching, and that the teaching was at best a painfully slow reiteration of what he had already learned at him, with his scout troop, and in the marching band (which was far more attuned to physical needs than the P.E. class).

Clearly P.E. can be good for some kids, but a waste of time for others. So, establish a test (of both mind and body). If students already know the material, don't force them to take a useless class.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Maybe the problem is that kids these days are expected to take electives and do lots if out if school activities in order to get into a good school. I see how little time friends' children have to actually be children and am saddened. Kids should be allowed to be kids while they still can.

Charlene, I am appalled that your daughter has been told her BMI is too high and might have to take PE again. I realize we have an obesity epidemic, but this seems like a great way to encourage eating disorders which can be incredibly damaging to health. However, I do think that ALL kids should do PE for the very reason we do have a problem wirh obesity, though it does need to focus on things like how to incorporate exercise into everyday life, rather the type of PE I suffered through 20 years ago.

Like this comment
Posted by Charlene
a resident of Castro City
on May 16, 2014 at 12:30 am

Thanks for the concern. My daughter was told by the pe teacher if her BMI is too high she can't pass. Hmmm, she's participated in this class pretty well, dealing with issues she tries not to bring with her into pe. Shes incredibly strong, physically and emotionally. I'm encouraged by her positive attitude to want to do well and put forth her best effort. I tell her do exercise to feel good, don't worry about anything else!! She knows she doesn't possess a skinny body, but has endurance and strength. I am encouraged by her tenacity to hang in there.

Like this comment
Posted by Charlene
a resident of Castro City
on May 16, 2014 at 12:49 am

@concerned--I hated pe with a passion. I would run away and, I kid you not, hide during volleyball--my most feared activity--, and cry when I had to do anything that required balance beams. College pe was better. We got to choose what sport/activity we would be graded on. I chose the pool and weights. Lol!! Not really sports, but no one bothered me. I didn't want to pass on my fears to my daughter and I think I succeeded. She laughs when I try to look graceful while dancing or yoga. But, we do things together, and it's fun.

Like this comment
Posted by Healthy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 16, 2014 at 5:28 am

I didn't know that BMI had anything to do with passing PE. Of course, if the high BMI student is unwilling to participate in physical exercise, then maybe a failing grade is appropriate? If my child refused to do homework in math and failed the tests, then I would be dismayed if the teacher passed him.

A physically fit high school graduate will have better and more lucrative employment options. That is a fact. While academic studies are very important, so is having a healthy body.

On the other hand, our obsession with organized sports is hurting us. Kids are enamored with becoming modern gladiators and so deprioritize study. Most students do the minimum to get their diploma or degree. A PE class ought to teach the kids how to stay fit, which is so important.

Like this comment
Posted by Kay
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thank you for sharing @today's PE

Thinking about it a bit more. If schools had a set up like a "24hour gym" or "golds gym" it would give some kids the chance to build the habit of working out once a day. Obviously schools lack funds for basics so the dream of a real gym is far away.

Hey 24-Hour and Golds Gym and others.....donate to school gyms = future memembers

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

PE was awesome. I wish there was an AP class offered in PE. I would have gone to college. Thanks a lot, stupid school.

It's okay, I work at a car dealership and I make lots of money. I won. Haha, education.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

How about we worry about the kids education rather than PE?

Oh but then again little Timmy might be a football or wresssling star. Just what we need. Way to go schools.

Like this comment
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Gemello
on May 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm


Like this comment
Posted by CPD
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

In PAUSD, students are required to take 2 years PE. If they are on a sports team, they receive a waiver from PE classes while the sport is in-season. For example, if the student plays women's volleyball, then she is exempted from "regular" PE during the volleyball season. Once the season is over, she returns back to her PE class.


Like this comment
Posted by MVHS parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

@Kay and CPD, have you ever thought of running for school board? We need people like you, with common sense and outside the box solutions.

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm

@MVHS - I think what parents in MV/LA are asking for is for kids to be totally excused from PE so they can take other classes instead, not a "pass" when they are playing a sport. I find that interesting since 2 years of PE is a California grad requirement.

In Palo Alto, I think they let you totally skip PE if you are at a certain level of athlete, I don't remember the exact details but if you are a high level athlete, you can do something called contract PE as early as middle school. Your coach becomes your "teacher" (say you are a competitive gymnast, a sport not offered at school). Independent study for PE.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Coffeebar opens in Menlo Park
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 5,098 views

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 768 views

Spring College Fairs
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 751 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 0 comments | 166 views