January 2020 Administrative Update
by: Matthew Librock
Director of Health, Physical Ed. & Athletics
The evolution of Physical Education, aka “Gym Class”, has progressed over the years. Decades ago, PE classes focused on hygiene, physical fitness, and gymnastics. Participation required uniforms consisting of grey shorts, grey shirts and sneakers. At times it may have resembled a modified boot camp more than a curricular offering at a school. Fast forward to 2020 and PE class has transformed, particularly at the high school level, into a subject aimed at teaching life-long skills students can carry with them as they leave a system that provides regular activity through PE class and athletic opportunities and venture into a world where numerous opportunities for attaining physical fitness are available. The evolution is continuing at East Aurora High School as students now have the opportunity to choose the type of PE class they participate in.
As PE class participation once divided students as a result of the content, students at East Aurora High School now have the ability to select for themselves, prior to setting foot into their first class of the year. Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, students can choose from three different types of physical education classes; Competitive PE, Basic PE, and Personal Performance PE. Each offering provides a unique experience for students, catering to their personal needs, all while providing the same required credit for graduation.
Competitive PE is a course designed for students that thrive for PE. Students enrolled in this selection are provided with a focus on team/traditional PE activities but with a more competitive concentration level on game play and performance. Strategies and higher levels of play are an emphasis for each activity. If there was an advanced placement class for physical education, this would be it. Teachers delve into concepts and conditioning levels not regularly seen in traditional PE classes.
Individual Personal Performance PE is designed for students who focus their physical activity around personal goals rather than team sports and activities. Students enrolled in this selection participate in activities such as yoga, archery, dance, aquatics, cooperative games, and outdoor education. Personal goal setting is a common theme among the various topics covered in this class selection.
What was once a one-size-fits-all approach to providing physical education to our students has transformed into a personal choice for each and every student. As graduates from East Aurora High School move on to college or career choices, they are now equipped to choose their own path towards physical fitness. As they choose, they will partly make their choices based on knowledge attained throughout school, but mainly on their areas of comfort. As our teachers, Mr. Koselny, Mrs. Schutrum, Mr. Lombardo, and Mr. Gipe provide these current choices for PE credit, they are allowing students to choose their comfort levels while still in high school and expose them to a number of activities within that specific area. Our goal is to equip students to directly transfer what they learned through the organized activities of high school PE into their post-high school lifestyles; fulfilling our PE department’s vision of lifelong activity participants.