By Jeanne Kim,
Bluedevilhub.com Staff —
Many freshmen hustle out of school after the bell rings and head to Davis High for sports practice. But although they participate in DHS sports, they are not able to receive P.E. credit through Independent Lifetime Sports (ILS).
ILS helps students complete high school graduation requirements through participation in sports rather than taking a structured P.E. course, allowing them to have a free period instead of P.E.
But all ninth graders, even those enrolled in high school sports, are required to take a formal P.E. class at their junior high schools.
Some freshmen wish that they could also receive P.E. credit for school sports, allowing them to complete the required two years of P.E. in one year. Others would prefer to simply do ILS instead of P.E.
“I would like to do ILS in my ninth grade year because I’m doing sports anyways such as track, and it should count for something and pay off for something,” Harper Junior High freshman Amanda Nazario said.
Freshman Abby Hanus of Holmes Junior High agreed.
“I would much rather do a sport I like and get credit for doing something I’m enjoying than using one of my periods for P.E. that I’m not enjoying,” she said.
But P.E. teacher and dance instructor Pamela Trokanksi says there are a number of factors to consider before allowing ILS for younger students.
“While you may not realize it, there are actually many important things that one is learning during a well run physical education program, including building the social skills necessary to working with a wider range of peers than one would find on a team,” Trokanski said. “In addition, ILS requires planning, attention to details and time management skills that many ninth and tenth graders simply do not yet have.”
According to school board trustee Susan Lovenburg, ninth graders are not allowed to take ILS due to the California Physical Fitness Tests, which help gauge the physical fitness and health of students during their freshmen year.
“If students are unable to pass these competencies, it is an indication that they may require a more structured P.E. program than can be offered by ILS,” Lovenburg said.
“The test is administered at the end of ninth grade so scores are not available until tenth grade. For that reason, there are no current plans to make the ILS program available to freshmen,” Lovenburg said in 2014.
Recently, however, the issue has been brought up again. Some parents and students want non-school sponsored sports like rowing and dance to be eligible for ILS, and the possibility of an “Independent Physical Education” course for sophomores has also been discussed.
The school board will address ILS and related programs at its meeting on Thursday, March 19.