New Berlin schools consider expanding PE waiver policy

Aug. 4, 2014

New Berlin — More high school students who take part in regular physical fitness activities would be excused from school physical education classes as the New Berlin School Board considers widening its PE waiver policy.

Not having to take PE in school would free up time for students who already get plenty of exercise to take more academic classes.

Currently, the physical education waivers are only for students in WIAA sports such as football and basketball. But that leaves out such activities as pompon and dance, said Superintendent Joe Garza.

"They're spending just as much time or more," he said.

The parent of children who spend hours in athletic training for competition on the national level said expanding the waivers would help her children diversify their educations.

The school board could vote as early as Monday, Aug. 11, so that the expanded waivers would be in place for the 2014-15 school year. Garza plans to suggest rules for the expanded waivers to the board Aug. 11.

In the board's first consideration of the concept, School Board President David Maxey said he would even offer waivers to students with personal trainers who are willing to provide documentation to the schools. Students who are in physical or occupational therapy might also be eligible, in his mind, Maxey said.

"We want them to take as many academic courses as we can get them in," he said.

Garza agreed: "We'd love to have them in science, social studies, math courses if they are getting physical education somewhere else."

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