Changes to PE uniform guidelines
Changes to PE uniform guidelines
Why this petition matters
Mrs. Mary E. Fernandez, Ed. S.
Fr. Luis Largaespada
St. Hugh Catholic School and Church
3460 Royal Rd
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
RE: P.E. uniform procedures.
Dear Mrs. Fernandez and Fr. Luis,
We appreciate the recent adjustments made by the School to accommodate the parents’ concerns on the referenced matter. However, we respectfully find that these adjustments do not address the main concerns and are unsustainable. For this reason, we find this letter necessary to explain the motivations for our request.
The below signers hereby request St. Hugh Catholic School (the “School”) to re-examine the procedures for Physical Education (“P.E.”) uniforms, eliminating the requirement for the students to change into, and out of, the P.E. uniforms at School, for the following reasons:
1. P.E. uniform procedure without proper accommodations and facilities.
Simply put, the School does not have the required facilities (lockers and dressing rooms) to allow the students to change properly, safely, and comfortably, nor a reasonable number of stalls for all the students to change in the amount of time given to do so.
2. P.E. uniform procedure time not incorporated into daily schedule.
The time that it takes the kids to change, especially since it is done in groups, takes away from their P.E. time or their following class, making it not the best use of their learning time. Also, eliminating their recess time to change back is unacceptable. These breaks are necessary for the kids to rest their minds, socialize with their peers without teachers' supervision, explore their creativity, develop crisis resolution skills, etc.
The students are required to change at a rate of three (3) and six (6) at a time in each restroom stall. As an example, a group of 20 students would need a minimum of nine (9) minutes (if each student takes 3 minutes).
The recess prior to, and after, the P.E. class is of approximately four minutes, this simply not being enough time for the students to timely perform the required task; thus, resulting in a reduction and a violation of the minimum required P.E. class time (of 30 to 40-minutes P.E. class). It is our understanding that the Archdiocese does not require children in other schools to change into and out of their P.E. uniforms prior to and following P.E. class. We humbly suggest that perhaps the desire to maximize the kids’ learning time is the reason why.
3. Health and sanity.
The students must go into the bathroom stalls that normally tend to get dirty throughout the day with their use, and the kids must change while putting personal items on the floor, where they risk getting them wet and/or dirty.
Although we have passed the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality is that there are still infections occurring at every age and the bathroom is a hotspot for germs. Something that we’ve learned during this pandemic is that we can never be too careful. In fact, COVID-19 has brought many good practices and learnings that we should keep applying on an everyday basis.
4. Unnecessary stress on students.
This procedure, as currently set forth, adds unnecessary stress to the students. They are required to perform an impossible task (as we have shown above), while violating their rights to recess and minimum required P.E. time. First, the anxiety of only having some minutes for the change of clothes; second, the fear of losing their belongings, while the teachers (first situation) and parents (second situation) call their attention is needlessly creating unpleasant experiences.
Not having to go through the process of changing before and after PE was very much appreciated during the past two years by students, teachers, and parents.
5. Home comfort and economy.
In the past, the fact that they’ve had to change at School many times per week resulted in the almost imminent loss of uniforms and other personal items. Even if they are labeled, the reality is that the things still disappear, names and labels get changed, etc., and the cost of the uniforms keeps increasing every year. Anything that would help the parents minimize the unnecessary expense of replacing uniforms many times throughout the year is a minimum consideration that we request from the School.
This letter is our formal request for revisions to the P.E. procedures. We formally request that the students be permitted to attend School wearing the P.E. uniform on their P.E. days. We know many Catholic schools in Miami do not change for P.E. and we would like to do the same. Once again, we love our school and community and we are always willing to help and be a part of it. We are asking St. Hugh to take this request seriously so our children can feel more comfortable and safe.