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Physical Education

Physical Education – Elementary Schools

Physical education is concerned with total mental, emotional and physical development of the individual. This development is attained through physical activities that promote sportsmanship, muscular coordination, leadership and the ability to follow others. Children are taught to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of other children.

In kindergarten, two 30-minute periods for physical education are provided per week. In grades one through three, each child is scheduled for three times per week for 30 minutes. In grades four through six, students have physical education four times per week for a total of 120 minutes. A before or after school intramural program is also available for students featuring many activities.

Adaptive physical education as defined by the Committee on Adaptive Physical Education of the AAHPER is “a diversified program of developmental activities, games, sports, and rhythms suited to the interest, capabilities and limitations of students with disabilities who may not safely or successfully engage in unrestricted activities of the general physical education program.” Adaptive physical education will be provided for pupils with chronic disabling conditions and also for those recuperating from injuries and accidents and those convalescing from long and short-term illnesses. This point of view precludes the concept of “gym excuses.” Special evaluation will be made to determine the most appropriate program for your child. Close coordination will be needed between you, your family physician, and the school.

The President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test is administered annually to youngsters beginning in the fourth grade. Students who qualify with high physical fitness scores receive Physical Fitness Award patches. This testing program is offered by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in cooperation with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance.

In October of each year, the department conducts an after-school cross-country meet for boys and girls in grades 4-6. Held at the Colonie Town Park, this event has six races, where over 500 students compete. In the late spring, we have an annual track and field meet for boys and girls in grades 5 and 6 during the school day at the Shaker High School track.

Physical Education – Junior High School

Physical Education is scheduled for all students on an every other day basis for the full school year.
Students with physically disabling conditions, either permanent of temporary, are provided an adapted
program designed for the individual student.

Physical Education – High School

Physical education is an instructional program that contributes to the physical, mental and social development of all students. More than 20 activities are offered to students, and the broad instructional phase of the program provides a wholesome and vigorous experience for students, who develop skills, techniques, knowledge and an appreciation of individual, team and lifetime athletic activities.

The school year is divided into four quarters, and the activities offered during each last for three to 10 weeks. Tenth-, 11th- and 12th-graders are encouraged to objectively evaluate their areas of competency and to select, where possible, activities they find interesting and which they believe will contribute to their individual development. Ninth-graders follow a prescribed program.

The interscholastic athletic program offers a variety of competitive teams for both girls and boys. Teams are divided into three levels – freshman, junior varsity and varsity – which enables as many students to participate as possible. More than 1,000 interscholastic sports events are scheduled each year, and most are scheduled against 12 other Suburban Scholastic Council Schools.

Adapted physical education is provided for students who have chronic handicapping conditions, are recovering from injuries and accidents or who are convalescing from long and short term illnesses. Students under doctor’s written authorization for a period of two weeks or longer will be assigned to Adapted Physical Education. All students are required to be in the regular or the adapted program. American Red Cross Level 3 Swimming achievement or Basic Water Safety is required of all students. Should a student not achieve this during his/her ninth grade year, Swimming must be repeated in the 10th grade. Four years (two credits) of physical education are required for graduation. One-quarter unit of credit is earned each semester. Students must successfully pass eight semesters.