Students surprised by changes in P.E. requirements

P.E. teacher Dave Maggetti leads warm-ups, showing students how to properly stretch their hamstrings and hip flexors.

Jessica Rodrigues

P.E. teacher Dave Maggetti leads warm-ups, showing students how to properly stretch their hamstrings and hip flexors.

Cameron Morelli, Editor-in-Chief

Students looking for an easy way to earn their physical education credits may be disappointed to learn that zero period P.E. will no longer be a “fluff” class. Previously, zero period P.E. students were required to arrive to class at 6:30 a.m. and were not required to change into proper P.E. attire.

“I wanted to take zero period for fewer miles,” said Lizz Mendoza, a freshman who was looking forward to taking zero period P.E. next year for easy physical education credits.

“All we did was walk around the gym or track,” said senior Alexie Infante, who was enrolled in zero period P.E. sophomore year.

“[Zero period P.E.] needs to reflect what the other periods are doing,” Principal Bill Atterberry said. “It is going to be less permissive and more focused on the curriculum they [P.E. teachers] are supposed to be teaching.”

Zero period P.E. teacher Dave Maggetti says that students are now required to arrive at 6:15 a.m. and will be required to change into P.E. apparel once there is a female available to supervise the girls’ locker room. The students will engage in stretching on Mondays and Wednesdays, participate in cardio and weight training on Thursdays and Fridays, and run the mile on Fridays.

In previous years, students were allowed to enroll in Aerobics or Weight training for their second year of P.E. with their teacher’s approval; however, this policy violates state P.E. requirements.

Many students are disappointed that these more specialized P.E. courses will no longer be applicable for the two year requirement.
“I think it should be counted,” sophomore Krystle Ortega said. “The course [Aerobics or Weight Training] is more rigorous than normal P.E.”

Regarding the Bear Creek P.E. waiver process, nothing has changed. Students participating in two sports during the school year still have the option to opt out of P.E. if they passed five out of the six areas of the California physical fitness exam, FITNESSGRAM®, during their freshman year and submit a contract.

However, miscommunication regarding the P.E. waivers still exists among students, P.E. teachers and counselors. Many students were led to believe by their P.E. teachers that they passed the physical fitness test they took during their freshman year. The exam, however, is not solely based on whether or not students “pass” certain requirements. The exam takes into account each student’s height and weight as well as their mile time and other factors within the exam. Therefore, some students were told that they passed the requirements even though they actually failed the exam once their body compositions were taken into account.

P.E. teacher Dave Maggetti leads zero-period P.E. in stretching their quads.
Jessica Rodrigues
P.E. teacher Dave Maggetti leads zero-period P.E. in stretching their quads.

Junior Natalia Gevara was initially told by her P.E. teacher during the second semester of her freshman year that she passed the exam, only to be informed the following November in her sophomore year by her counselor Ivan Tunnel that she failed the fitness test.

“I turned my waiver in and I had already known about the physical fitness [test], like how I didn’t pass it apparently, but they had told me that I would be able to retake it,” Gevara said.

Gevara was notified after the start of the 2014-2015 school year that she was not allowed to retake the fitness test and would be denied a P.E. waiver.

“I was called in during fourth period and Mr. Tunnell told me. . .[that] I couldn’t retake it [the physical fitness test],” Gevara said, “I could either take zero period again, because I took it for one semester already, or I could take it [P.E] over the summer.”

On August 12, Vice Principal Sera Baysinger met with 11 students whose P.E. waivers were denied and were not currently enrolled in their second year P.E. course. Baysinger made sure that the students were aware that their waivers were denied and told them that they still need to complete their second year of P.E.

Junior Lyka Sarmiento, one of the 11 students, is frustrated that she was notified that her P.E. waiver was rejected after the school year started. Until her meeting with Baysinger, Sarmiento thought her waiver was approved.

“It made me mad because my counselor [Mrs. Angerstein] gave me a letter last year saying that I was approved, so I joined cross country,” Sarmiento said. “Yesterday I was called in to say I was not approved. That made me really mad because what am I supposed to do now? I don’t want to do summer school because next year I know I’m going to be busy over the summer.”

“Now I have P.E. to worry about.” Sarmiento said. “If they told me the school year before I could’ve done P.E. for summer school and now I’m worrying about P.E. and in a sport for no reason.”

Sarmiento, who didn’t pass the physical fitness exam for her body composition and height as well as her mile time, says that the five out of six requirement for the physical fitness exam is unfair.

“I honestly think for P.E. waivers the minimum should be four out of six because five is too unfair,” Sarmiento said. “I thought it was unfair for my body composition and height. Can small people not apply for the waiver? That really made me mad too.”

“I think that they should tell us that we were not approved before the start of the school year because now I have P.E. to worry about,” Sarmiento said.