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P.E. for Sophomores and Juniors Becomes Focus for Foxboro High School

Juniors and seniors at Foxboro High School may get a new dose of fitness in the near future with the addition of physical education to their schedule.

Facing a state requirement that students need to take P.E. courses every year, the Foxboro school district is looking at ways to offer the classes to 11th and 12th graders while adding something not currently available.

Students in Foxboro must take gym as freshmen and sophomores but are not required to do so for their last two years of high school.

In past years, the school district has been able to get around the requirement by  tracking activities such as gym memberships and participations in athletics.

“We decided the time felt right. We can’t any longer say we’re not trying to address it,” Foxboro superintendent Debra Spinelli said.

The tracking was also more of an honor system according to Foxboro High School principal  Diana Myers-Pachla.

“That tracking is taking someone’s word, that’s someone saying I have a gym membership but they may not be going,” Myers-Pachla said.

If approved, 11th and 12th graders would take the class for one semester a year, three times a cycle, with direct studies for days without a gym class.

“We’ve never offered that, we’ve never made it available for students,” Spinelli said.

To give more choices for students who may not have an interest in sports or traditional P.E. activities, the high school is exploring offering options that interests students including group exercise, personal training, and yoga.

“I think it wold be great to have the options because I would like to try the other stuff,” student representative Colleen MacDonald said.

The committee’s second student representative, Ravmyr Fede, thought new courses would make some activities more accessible to students.

“Having the other electives like that would help a lot of people because they do want to work out and go to Zumba but they don’t have the time for it. With it being here, it would be so much easier,” Fede said.

Students possibly taking gym before school starts in also being discussed, freeing up a period for a direct study or another elective.

According to business administrator Bill Yukna, a new gym teach with a salary of $46,500 would have to be hired to cover the new courses.

The school committee will continue to look at the issue and potentially vote on the topic at a later date.

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