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We connect students

The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

New Physical Education Programs Provide More Opportunities for Juniors and Seniors

This year, Monroe-Woodbury High School’s physical education program has undergone changes in accordance with the 2020 New York State Physical Education Learning Standards that were implemented by the state’s Department of Education.

The physical education coordinator Coach Earl and the other physical education teachers have been instrumental in the implementation of these major changes that include a switch to coeducational instruction as well as more freedom in what activities students can participate in throughout the year.

The physical education staff was tasked with integrating these new standards into the existing curriculum and ensure that the students have an easy transition into the new program.

“The new design to have ‘Lifetime Leisure’ activities and ‘Team Sports’ gives kids an opportunity to choose what activities they would like to partake in, while simultaneously giving the students more exposure to activities they would not normally see in their day-to-day lives,” said Coach Earl.

He added, “The new program is temporary, and is constantly evolving, and our goal is to make it better.”

An example of this effort is the fact that senior and junior students were allowed to complete a questionnaire that asked for their opinions on what activities they would like included or taken away from the new curriculum.

As for future plans for the program, Coach Earl said, “Ideally, we need to have three teachers to give the students three choices on what activities they would like to do. Students may want to participate in activities other than the Competitive Team Sports or Lifetime Leisure and may want to focus solely on fitness activities. This would open up more choices for students to find what they want to do and make PE class an experience everyone can enjoy.”

Although staff is trying to make the programs enjoyable, there are mixed opinions about the changes.

Senior Matthew Safizadeh, a student in Lifetime Leisure, said “I really like how there’s a choice between what type of activities you want to do in gym now. I hated how you used to be forced into participating in certain activities that you didn’t want to do.” 

“[The new gym program] is a nice, different approach to teaching physical education. I feel like it is nice to split the classes up if people don’t want to play certain games they don’t want to,” said Joseph Piriano, a senior in Competitive Team Sports. 

Another senior in the Lifetime Leisure course, Markus Leitner, had a differing opinion on the new curriculum. 

“I feel that the new gym program has changed the way people view gym class. Since it is now co-educational, many people aren’t playing as intensely because they don’t want to come off as annoying or a tryhard,” said Leitner. “I would like to see changes in how the classes are. Instead of two separate classes, I feel one big class run by two teachers would have more benefit for the students.” 

“The new gym system limits the amount of sports students are able to experience. Although I would say that splitting the class between ‘Lifetime Leisure and ‘Competitive Team Sports’ helps students choose the intensity of their physical activities,” said Ethan Gutierrez, senior in Competitive Team Sports. 

“The 50/50 split [the mandatory even division of the two groups] does not allow all students to have an option of the Lifetime Leisure and Competitive Team Sports because there would never be a perfect 50/50 split. Therefore, gym classes should be split differently, and the way spots are offered needs to be modified,” added Gutierrez 

Based on the response from students, the new physical education program is something that could be popular. Students and staff both acknowledge that there is the potential to improve the current offerings and evolve it into something that everyone can enjoy. However, bringing about improvements and changes will be very difficult without the proper funding and access to resources.

“It’s [changing the curriculum] a process. We have to do curriculum review and investigation, and then we have to invest in resources and equipment that will allow these improvements to occur. For example, if we need to do a unit on cornhole, and there are more than 30 students in a class, and we only have four boards, then that will be a big issue,” said Coach Earl. 


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Issac Hong, Business Manager
Issac Hong is a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School and this is his second year working with The Wire. Issac joined the Wire to improve his writing skills and gain a better understanding of the events that occur around MWHS. In doing so, he has got to involve himself in an awesome community of passionate writers that has inspired him to pursue the liberal arts. Other than writing for The Wire, Issac likes to spend his time playing video games and sleeping. Issac is also an avid Tottenham fan, and has had the pleasure of watching his team continue a 15 year trophy-less run.