Make gym class optional for student athletes

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We the parents and students at Harriton High School and Lower Merion High School petition the Lower Merion School District to adopt a policy providing credit for alternative physical education activities.

Such activities would include participation in PIAA-sanctioned sports, school sponsored club sports and other physical education activities supervised by a credentialed adult and incorporating an ongoing instructional component.

Such a policy would allow student athletes to fulfill the physical education requirements mandated by the Commonwealth without requiring them to participate in normal physical education classes during the school day.

Kids involved in an after-school sport can spend 2 plus hours a day engaged in physical activity, including weekends.  This results in homework and other after school responsibilities getting pushed later and later further increasing our kids' exhaustion and anxiety.  Kids need exercise, but those involved in a sport could better utilize their gym period by doing homework, working on team projects or meeting with teachers.

This policy supports Lower Merion School Districts desire to improve our children's mental health and reduce their anxiety.

Conestoga High School has successfully implemented a similar policy and calls it Extended Experience Physical Education (EEPE).  Students fill out an application at the beginning of each semester describing their alternative physical education choice complete with activity hours and a signature from an instructor/coach.  If the application fits the EEPE guidelines, the student can fulfill their physical education requirement for that semester and use the time as a study hall.

Let's make an easy, common sense decision to support student health.