Gym class make ups are neccessary

Editorial Board

You go to gym class every day. You’re prepared—sneakers, shorts, and water bottle at the ready. You play any game, perform any warm up, just the way your instructor asks you to every other day on your schedule, for an entire year. When June rolls around, you get your report card—perfect grades in physical education, just like always.

You sit down with your friend to compare grades, just to see how you did, and see that they have failing grades down the line—all classes flunked, except one. They say they really don’t care about school, so they didn’t show up to nearly any classes this year. “Not even gym?” you ask. “No,” they say. You question why you even bothered showing up to class if you could’ve aced it with an absence note instead of a layup.

This has been a reality for many Neshaminy students. There was no system in place among physical education classes for the past several years that would penalize the grades of students who simply didn’t show up to class, so the aforementioned students did just as well academically in their physical education classes as the students who had participated each day. This year, the physical education department sought to find a solution to this issue.

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, students who miss more than two periods of gym class per marking period will no longer receive full credit for the classes to which they were not present. Students who wish to regain credit for the classes they have missed must then attend an after school program, run by the physical education department, to remediate for the effects that their absence had on their gym class grades. Forty-five minutes of after-school activity would remediate one class period worth of points, so a student who remains in the program until the late bus’ arrival would have the ability to make up for three missed classes.

This new rule was meant to hold students that consistently missed gym class, and/or the entire school day, accountable. These students, before this new rule, would generally be able to earn a similar amount of points to the students that came to school nearly every day and participated in class. Because of this, it was evident to the Neshaminy staff that such a system was not necessarily fair and the implementation of this new rule was needed.

Students are not necessarily required to make up the gym periods they have missed, although it is recommended. Students that generally do well in the classes and appear in class should not be worried of the consequences that may arise if they had missed a handful of gym periods.

This new policy thereby makes gym class a more serious venture in the eyes of many students, rather than one to ignore as it may have been seen previously. Before, many students saw their physical education classes as ones they could arrive to once in a while and put meager effort into to get a decent grade. Now, the class reinforces a stricter policy that aims to encourage students to put in more effort into their physical education because, of course, the students themselves are the ones that reap the benefits of the exercise that they may not necessarily earn anywhere else.