Lauren Hurwitz 0

NMUSD Independent PE

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NMUSD has recently changed the rules for Juniors and Seniors who participate in independent PE: they will no longer be able to earn PE credit through these programs. The programs affected include sailing, crew and outrigger. The Newport Aquatic Center programs (NAC) has been providing independent PE credit for almost 15 years.

The change in rules negatively impacts the students involved in these sports. These students join these teams for a variety of reasons: they are passionate about these sports, perhaps their sport of choice is not offered at their school, or maybe they are pursuing scholarship opportunities. Just like any in-school team, they dedicate countless hours to training and advancing in their chosen sport. In fact most of these outside teams are year round, requiring full attendance during school holidays and after school ends. These students are not just looking for PE credits, they are part of the team, enjoying the comradery and team spirit, just like any in-school team. Most schools celebrate the victories these students achieve, including them in daily announcements, as if they were part of the school programs.

Academically, this new change creates an unfair burden on our students. They are forced to take another academic class in order to complete the credit requirements. They will either have to take a zero period, which implies an early start (ie less sleep) or a 6th period making it very difficult to get to their practices, some of which start at 3:15pm. In addition, forcing these students to take an extra class is discriminatory in that their "in-school team" counterparts will not have to take this extra class. This means less time to focus on their already rigorous academic schedule.

We request that NMUSD reverse this decision and continue to allow independent PE for all high school students as they have done for the past 15 years.

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