P.E. Credits Required to Graduate

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P.E. Credits Required to Graduate

Palmer High School 2018 spring semester gym class playing soccer.

Palmer High School 2018 spring semester gym class playing soccer.

Renee Chaples

Palmer High School 2018 spring semester gym class playing soccer.

Renee Chaples

Renee Chaples

Palmer High School 2018 spring semester gym class playing soccer.

Renee Chaples, Secretary

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State law for Massachusetts recommends  that students have at least two physical education  credits before they are able to graduate. The MassCore, which is a state document that recommends how all the requirements for Massachusetts schools  are met, dictates, “Currently, the state high school graduation requirements include aspects of American history/civics, physical education taught as a required subject…” Although it is merely a recommendation, approximately 80.9% (including Palmer High School) follow the MassCore suggestions, thus making it a total norm in Massachusetts schools

Palmer High mandates that a student must have two gym credits before they are allowed to graduate and there are currently only two ways to obtain the two credits. The student must either pass a normal gym course or an adaptive physical education course. Although I personally understand the importance of fitness and health, I find it redundant to force students who are active in after-school sports to participate in a gym class.

Since my freshman year, I have been involved in at least one sport. Currently I am in my junior year and I do three sports, which allow me to be active year-round. However, I cannot graduate until I take my final gym course my senior year. Not only does this cause me to have to create my next year’s schedule around that needed gym credit, but I am forced into a class where I must endlessly run around with a bunch of people who I am not comfortable with and participate in activities that I despise, such as soccer.

There is no law that says that schools cannot give students physical education credits based on the sports they do. Some schools actually already use this technique. Palmer High, a school that seems to have tried every other technique in making classes more available to the students, has overlooked this tactic thus further complicating schedules.