By Tori Austin
Physical education is an assigned course that students are required to take two days a cycle every year--but that will all be changing next year.
During a meeting on Nov. 3, the school board approved a plan that will completely alter the way science labs and gym classes are set up.
Under the plan, physical education will become a semester-long course students take every day of the cycle. However, students will only be required to take three semesters of gym class throughout their high school career. This change means that students could have a senior year free of gym class.
Meanwhile, Advanced Placement (AP) science classes with double lab periods would move to having a lab period every day for a full year. During the first three marking periods, under Mr. Mark Shue’s outline, the lab period would be used for an extension of classwork. In the fourth marking period, however, the class would explore a specific science elective that the teacher deems relevant to the end-of-the-year AP test.
Honors science classes will also have double lab all year and they will be a single semester course starting in the 2017-18 school year. Principal Shue proposed the plan Oct. 6.
Under the current system, advanced science classes have an extra lab period for one day each cycle. Another two cycle days are set aside for physical education. That leaves a minimum of three days every cycle that are “dead,” and revert to study hall. For students that are not taking high-level science classes, that leaves four empty days per cycle, for all four years.
To students who worry that they will lose precious working periods, Mr. Shue said study halls will still be available, especially for seniors who are seeking early release or late arrival.
AP Chemistry teacher Mr. Michael Blanteno feels that the plan would be beneficial. “It would give me more time for assessment and more time for fulfilling laboratory requirements,” he said.
According to Mr. Shue, changing the schedule to “semesterize gym classes” would not only increase the credit value of physical education, it will also create more time in students’ schedules for other classes. He also proposed adding more electives, such as AP Psychology.
Students have mixed feelings. While many students who spoke with the The Leonid dislike the idea of extra gym time, several feel that more lab periods in advanced science classes would help greatly.
“For AP Physics, I basically went down there every day in study hall,” junior Jacob Lorenzen said.