Summit Athletes May Be Given Option to Skip Physical Education Classes
Thursday, September 27, 2012 • 6:39am
SUMMIT, NJ - Athletes involved in sports at Summit High School possibly could soon opt out of physical education classes and have the opportunity to substitute other activities such as study halls.
According to Summit Board of Education President George Lucaci, the school body’s policy committee has been discussing the policy change for some time, although it has not yet made a formal proposal to the full board.
Lucaci said the proposed change would fit in well with the school district’s goals because it could help raise academic standards by helping students to have more well-rounded backgrounds that could aid their acceptance into the top colleges targeted by Summit students and their parents.
State regulations on physical education require 150 minutes a week of physical activity with an instructional component. The regulations leave it up to individual districts whether or not they want to give athletes the option of “opting out” of formal physical education classes.
Lucaci said he agrees with the nationwide trend for school districts to allow the opt-out option. Although it is not that prevalent in Union County, he noted Kent Place School in Summit does have the option.
He added student athletes who take physical education classes in addition to participating in sports are potentially exposed to a greater risk of injury. He also said student athletes get more than enough aerobic exercise through their participation in sports.
The board president said, at this point, he is not too concerned about schedules being changed to allow student athletes to opt out of gym classes.
He noted board members have been soliciting staff input on the change.
“The kids will be the primary beneficiaries if this policy is put forth,” Lucaci noted.
The primary motivation behind the change is the support protection of those students who represent Summit, the board president said.
Asked if the privilege could extend to students in other activities who might want to opt out of classes related to their activities, Lucaci said that was “just a canard. This is not about scheduling. It is about physical exercise.”