The following is the mission statement of the St. Vrain School District. It includes a statement about not using other activities to substitute for PE credit. This was very helpful to them when explaining their programs to the school board.
We believe physical education:
- is at the center of everything we do as it promotes a sound mind in a sound body.
- promotes active learning through movement.
- improves health related fitness levels (cardiovascular vascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility activities).
- establishes physical fitness patterns that help all students understand the value of lifetime physical activity as it relates to long term wellness.
- promotes mental and social well being through individual and group activity.
- develops skills which encourage continued participation in lifetime physical activities.
- helps all students learn and be exposed to a variety of sports and games.
Physical education is an integral part of the educational process. As a result of physical education, students are more likely to be better prepared as productive students, workers, and contributors to their communities and organizations within society. As physical educators, we take pride in the physical education curriculum and programs of the St. Vrain Valley School District. It has taken many years to develop our curriculum to fit the needs of all our students.
The question of whether to give or not to give alternative credit for physical education has been debated in administrative circles for many years. The majority of the physical education teachers in our district believe alternative credit for physical education should not be given for the following reasons:
- Alternative credit jeopardizes the opportunity for well-rounded experiences in activities.
- Through physical education students have an increased awareness of total body capabilities.
- Physical education stresses enjoyment of play versus competitive outcomes.
- Physical education is curriculum specific with prescribed proficiencies.
- Physical education teaches an appreciation of many sports and skills as well as health and wellness activities.
- Physical education provides a co-educational, peer group setting and activities for socialization and cooperative learning.
- Physical education provides a strong foundation from which to make lifetime choices.
- Physical education classes build confidence, creativity, and self esteem.
- A required physical education program reaches the student who would not otherwise experience physical activity.
- Physical education classes provide an atmosphere for understanding and respecting physical, mental, and cultural differences among students.
- Physical education incorporates an opening for the cognitive, effective, and psychomotor domains.
- Physical education includes all facets of health related fitness which may not be covered in a single focused program.
- Physical education provides for the reduction of stress through daily physical activity.
We fully support the Colorado Model Content Standards for Physical Education which states that "the purpose of physical education is for all students to learn and develop fundamental movement skills, become physically fit, participate regularly in physical activity, know the implications of and the benefits from involvement in physical activities, and appreciate the value of physical activity and its contributions to a healthy lifestyle. In contrast, athletic programs are essentially designed for students who desire to specialize in one or more sports and refine their talents in order to compete with others of similar interests and abilities".
"Developmentally appropriate physical education programs are designed for every child from the physically gifted to the physically challenged. The intent is to provide students of all abilities and interests with a foundation of movement experiences that will eventually lead to active and healthy lifestyles".
The St. Vrain Valley School District has carefully developed a physical education curriculum that is designed for all students grades 1 through 12. For high school graduation, only two physical education credits are required. For these reasons, we feel alternative credit for physical education is inappropriate.
Submitted by Diane Ruby and Val Kohlman who are Physical Eductors in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont and Niwot, CO. Thanks so much for sharing your collected information with PE Central!