Gym Policy Opinion

by Vinny Bianco
The new gym policy, which assigns students to classes instead of letting them choose, is the best thing that has ever happened to the physical education program in our school.
Created by Assistant Principal Ryan Miller, the new policy has some students and teachers reeling, but the rewards to be gained are significant.
The worst part of the old gym policy was the stress and disorganization that it created.
In the past, each new marking period would find students sitting on the bleachers doing nothing for days on end, waiting until gym teachers were ready to let students choose the activities and related teachers they wanted. Although the gym teachers did their best to accomplish that task in an orderly fashion, it was simply not feasible to maintain any sense of organization when there were so many students in one room and only a handful of teachers to manage them.
What lay behind the scenes was even worse. According to Miller, “It takes weeks, if not a month, to get schedules accurate.” This is not acceptable.
With this new gym policy in place, students are aware of who their teachers will be in advance, and the stress associated with picking gym classes is erased.
The new gym policy also plays a role in developing our student athletes. Unlike in previous years, all in-season varsity athletes are automatically placed into Advanced Weight Training (AWT). Miller said “In a perfect world, every athlete should have AWT.” However, the size of the weight room limits its capacity. The new policy allows more varsity athletes to take AWT by scheduling them into the class ahead of time. Junior Tom Bonacum, a varsity basketball player, said, “It’s a good idea because athletes need to be getting stronger to improve their games.”
Still, without the cooperation of the gym teachers, the policy would be doomed. While Miller concedes that there are mixed feelings about the new policy, the teachers are generally supportive. Physical education teacher Robert Rafferty said, “with administration and gym staff working together, this policy should be streamlined to a success.”