Online P.E.?

Parkway's upcoming online P.E. program is not a good idea.


Kaylee Kettelhut

Two students play catch with a lacrosse ball during Mr. McFarland's 5th block Let's Move Together class. Starting in 2020, students will be able to take P.E. courses online.

In elementary school, P.E. was always the class everyone was excited about. We played games and no one really cared what others were doing. In middle school, P.E. became a little less enjoyable as we were actually made to do work. Then, when we got to high school, most people seemed to not love it that much. But now, thanks to new Missouri legislation, Parkway has made the decision to have P.E. be a class that will available online in 2020. Is it convenient? Yes. Is it smart? Probably not.

As a high school student, you need one physical education credit to graduate. For the kids who enjoy P.E. this is not a problem, but for the kids who absolutely hate P.E., it is. South offers tons of different P.E. classes like Adventure Pursuits, Walking Fitness, Scuba Training, Lifeguard Training, P.E. Mentor, Yoga for Fitness, Health and Wellbeing. Although some of these classes are fairly easy, some people just don’t want to take them. If I had to guess, the kids who choose to take the online course will be the kids who have a hard time in the actual gym; the kids who aren’t very athletic and just need the credit. Which is a benefit for them but will it really be like having a P.E. class? New Missouri legislation is requiring public school districts to start offering more online course options. Parkway already offers 9 Parkway-taught online classes: Manderin, American Sign Language, Health, Personal Finance, Comparative Mythology, AP Statistics, Videogame Design, Sociology and Japanese. In addition, students can take online classes through the Springfield, Missouri public school system, at Parkway’s expense.

Some of the classes we can take at South for P.E. are almost so easy they can be considered blow-off classes. In my opinion, online classes will be the most blow-off courses you can take as there are no physical teachers in the room with you there’s no way to really know if the kid is doing the work or just faking it. In the long run it probably doesn’t matter, but how is it fair to the kids who actually show up to class and do the work but still get the same credit? It sounds a little ridiculous to me.

Although I am not in favor of online physical education, I do think the course will be beneficial for the kids who have anxiety going to gym or even the kids who just really hate P.E. and don’t want to go to the real class. It will also be a popular option for kids who want to get their P.E. credit out of the way to free up space to take other courses.

I don’t exactly hate the idea of online physical education, but I’m not in favor either. I don’t think it will be taken seriously, nor do I think that many people will sign up for it, but I am in favor for the kids who think actual gym class is too much for them and they need something easier. We’ll see how it goes in 2020.