Douglas school officials ponder P.E. alternative

DOUGLAS COUNTY -Students here may soon be able to earn physical education credits without setting foot in a gym.

A group of educators proposed a plan to Douglas County School Board members last week which would allow students to substitute alternative sport activities to earn up to two P.E. credit.

But not all educators agree.

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School teacher, Lee Rix, said if the plan were approved, students would have a loophole to get out of physical education classes.

"It's not about the credits, it's about the experience," Rix said.

Effective since 1987, students in the school district can currently waive one P.E. credit if they participate for at least 120 hours in school-sponsored activities such as interscholastic athletics, marching band and drill team, dance or cheerleading squads.

The new policy, Supervised Curriculum Physical Education, proposes to permit students to participate in district-approved activities and earn a maximum of two high school credits. Activities included in the proposal are: dance, gymnastics, skiing and snowboarding, figure skating and hockey, rodeo and equestrian training, rock climbing and martial arts.

Lindsay Wines, physical education teacher from Whittell High School, was concerned with the "just P.E." image.

"It would allow kids to get two P.E. credits and not step foot in a gym," she said. "Would you allow students to go to Sylvan Learning Center and get 60 hours credit in reading?"

Brian and Becky Crowe of Genoa said that they weren't trying to get their middle school daughters out of P.E. but that it was hard for them to keep up with their gymnastic training in Reno four days a week.

"All we're asking for is one hour at the beginning or end of the day. We don't think that all the P.E. classes will disintegrate because of this," Becky Crowe said.

Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School special education teacher Jeff Hendricks saw bigger problems with the plan, a sort of "social segregation."

"Some kids can't afford to pay for lift tickets or karate classes so it will end up that some kids will substitute other classes for P.E. because they're rich," said Hendricks.

The issue will continue to be discussed at the next Douglas County School Board meeting at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Douglas High School.


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