Changes in Physical Education Due to COVID-19


Weston Siebler

Physical education classes have had to make adjustments to class structure due to COVID-19.

For virtual learners, the dynamic of Physical Education at Westside High School has changed. Since most students do not have a full weight room in their house, the curriculum and structure for PE classes have a different look than in previous years.

Freshman Sammy Marvin commented on the at-home PE situation.

“I think virtual PE is okay,” Marvin said. “You’re not as motivated, and you don’t have friends with you, but, overall, there is a good system for completing workouts.“

This week’s online and in-person workout for PE instructor Justin Haberman’s Strength and Conditioning 1 class was quite different from each other. The online workout was composed of five rounds of bodyweight exercises such as air squats, mountain climbers and high knees. The in-person workout consisted of bicep curls, pull-ups and other exercises that require equipment. PE Instructor Sally Shepherd explained how her virtual PE classes are structured.

“So for our online learners, we’re using only bodyweight types of activities because most of them won’t have the equipment at home that we would be using here, and there’s just no way to replicate the actual curriculum we have here, especially if we are doing a sports class like Sports Skills 1 or 2,” Shepherd said. “You can’t officiate a volleyball game with one person, so it’s just really difficult, and the most frustrating part for us is that we know those students aren’t getting the same content as they would if they were [at school].”

Shepherd also talked about the curriculum of virtual PE such as Strength and Conditioning and Sports Skills.

“It’s not even close to being what we would normally do,” Shepherd said. “In the weight room we’re doing the same things, just being careful to clean everything. We’re spreading kids out as much as possible, but there are times we can’t spread out so we’re making sure everybody is wearing a mask.”