By Ali Durkin and Riley Burns
It’s October, which means Jamesville-DeWitt High School is a month into a new school year. Returning students are noticing the changes in gym electives, which has sparked some controversy among the students and faculty.
This year is the first year of the new change in physical education. In the past, students would have to choose in March which gym electives they wanted to take in the next school year. But with these changes, made by administration to make counselor’s scheduling task easier, sophomores, juniors, and seniors now have to make their choices on the first day of gym class. So, for the first 80 minutes of their first gym class, students vote and decide which gym elective they would like to take in 2014-2015.
Seniors, having the advantage of first choice, are mostly happy with this change, like senior Anna Smith. “I agree with the changes made because I like how we don’t have to decide way ahead of time in March the year before,” said Smith; “I think for the most part, students are getting to pick what they want.” Smith also says that there are a lot more seniors in a class than there have been in the previous years. Smith, along with Ryan Durkin, and many of the seniors, are getting the choices they preferred. “It’s nice being a senior and getting first choice for gym electives, but I can see how the change can be disappointing to the juniors and sophomores.” says Durkin.
However, some people disagree with the change, such as sophomore Mary Dorazio. “I don’t really like it because I got put in a class with all boys and then I had to get switched out and put into a class that I still didn’t like,” said Dorazio. Dorazio is now in fitness planning and doesn’t like it because it doesn’t suit her interests. Junior Paige Sherling, who plays for the Varsity Girls Soccer team, agrees with Dorazio. “I think its not fair to some people who want to do physical fitness and are stuck with team games,” said Sherling. “If the changes weren’t made, then people for the most part would still get the option of choosing what fits their interests,” she said.
Like Dorazio and Sherling, physical education teacher Cara Goldberg disagrees with the changes made. “It’s a hassle,” says Ms.Goldberg. “On the first day of school, there is no class list and the students need to find out which elective they want to take within their first day of class. This may not seem like a big deal, but since not all the students are getting what they want, the failure rate may begin to rise.” Ms. Goldberg thinks that these new changes have made the job of physical education more difficult then it was prior to this.
Physical education teacher Jeff Ike, on the other hand, believes that, as difficult as the adjustments may be, with time students and gym teachers will adjust to the changes. “I think as we get further into the year that the physical education and guidance staff will be able to fix the issues to make it run smoother,” says Coach Ike.
Counselor Laura Bond agrees the system changes made will be easier on students and the physical education staff. “Changes like these either have a negative outcome in the end or a positive one, and I feel that this change will become easier with years to come,” said Bond. “This is like a test run, whether this works for our school or not, we can learn from it and build it on to help improve our school community more and more each year.”