From today’s Chronicle: P.E. and JROTC

The Chronicle has run its curtain-raiser article for tomorrow’s Board meeting, where we will take up the independent study resolution for JROTC. This section contains the crux of the issue – does the class provide the necessary physical activity required by the state:

At the board’s May 12 meeting, when the JROTC program was restored, a district staff member told the board that in her opinion the military program can’t meet state P.E. requirements.

P.E. content specialist Michelle Zapata told the board there simply isn’t enough time for JROTC to provide the “400 minutes of the required physical exercise that is moderate to vigorous – 400 minutes over 10 days.”

State law does require 400 minutes of P.E. class time over 10 days, but there is no specific code or standard addressing how many minutes must or should be spent on instruction or physical activity.

The state P.E. standards recommend moderate to vigorous exercise four days a week, but does not specify how much each day.

The article goes on to say that even in traditional P.E. classes in San Francisco high schools, students are not participating in 400 minutes of vigorous exercise every 10 days. P.E. class time accounts for 430 minutes of every 10 days in a student’s schedule, but at least 20 minutes of that class time every day is taken up by non-exercise activities like changing clothes or taking attendance.

However, the JROTC instructors have personally assured me on numerous occasions that students can easily get 400 minutes of vigorous exercise in their classes and afterschool activities, AND pass the state fitness test before the end of 10th grade. So I’m more than confident that the class provides the necessary physical benefit to qualify for independent study P.E. credit.

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