Physical Education: Possible Opt-Out with Art?
February 25, 2020

For some students at Saint John’s, Physical Education is seen as a hindrance to their academic careers at Saint John’s. Currently, Physical Education is required all four years, and there is no known way to avoid taking the class.

In a recent conversation with Mr. ****, the only teacher of the three levels of Studio Art, a possible opt-out route was discussed. Mr. **** is proposing a Studio Art 4 class, to start in the 2020-2021 school year. To be able to take Studio Art 4, the student needs to complete the three previous Studio Art classes. It is possible to complete the current program by the end of junior year, and move on to Advanced Studio Art the following year.

Scheduling the new Studio Art 4 to attract the most students would require the ability to complete Studio Art 3 and 4 in the same academic year. Currently, Studio Art 2 and 3 can be completed in one year, with Studio Art 2 offered in the fall, and Studio Art 3 offered in the spring. It is suggested that Studio Art 3 be offered in the fall, so students can take Studio Art 4 in the fall. Studio Art 2 would be offered in either semester. If students would like to take other electives however, Studio Art 2 will need to be offered to rising sophomores, or grant an exception to junior year Physical Education.

Currently, for all non-freshmen, Physical Education meets twice per cycle for one semester. It is usually taken from the student’s resource period, but Mr. **** recalls Physical Education being taken out of an art class. This happens when a student does not have a resource period, due to taking the extra course. This becomes an issue when students end up with make-up work to complete outside of the normally scheduled class time. It is suggested that if a student is taking an extra elective in place of a resource period, then that student should be exempt from Physical Education that year. Between Physical Education and the scheduled drop of the block, the student will only meet with their art class four days per cycle.