By Claire DuMont
The Mira Costa administration introduced a new yearlong core class called Fitness and Nutrition which combines Physical Education Nine and Health. It became available to freshman this school year as an alternative to fulfill both Health and P.E. credits. This class is advantageous because many freshman have to take both Health and P.E. during their freshman year, so the combination of the two allows them to have more room within their schedule.
The creation of the Health and Nutrition class was proposed by Costa principal Dr. Ben Dale. He drew his inspiration from Palo Alto High School, which also offers a combined P.E. and Health course. This course, along with 13 other courses, was approved at the Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board meeting on Feb. 13 for the 2017-2018 school year. Health and Nutrition is currently offered first, second and third period and is taught by P.E and health instructor James Beaumont.
According to the MBUSD board, in past years, Costa freshmen fulfilled both of their Health and Physical Education requirements separately, as they took a semester-long Health course in addition to the yearlong freshmen P.E. Nine course. Therefore, the opportunity to obtain credits for both courses while enrolled in only one period allows students to take an additional course in its place.
Only freshmen in team sports, sophomores and upperclassmen are allowed to enroll in semester-long Health classes, Beaumont said. The remaining freshmen are required to enroll in Fitness and Nutrition. Although the semester-long health classes may seem exclusive and could reduce the amount of time spent in both classes, the opportunity to complete both P.E. Nine and Health requirements in one course is unparalleled and is extremely beneficial for all grades.
The health component in Fitness and Nutrition requires students to complete 15 volunteer hours each semester. The volunteer aspect required by health classes has remained integral even to the new course. This is valuable to students enrolled because they will be able to learn the value of volunteer work throughout an entire year, as opposed to a semester.
Health and Nutrition was created to prevent students from feeling pressured to take Health through summer school, Beaumont said. This ultimately benefits the students because they have the opportunity to spend their summer break with activities such as internships, travel, private courses or work experience.
According to Beaumont, the challenge with the implementation of Health and Nutrition is ensuring that students learn all of the P.E. and Health curriculum during the year and guaranteeing that the minimum number of P.E. minutes are taught during the year. Despite this challenge, Beaumont is enthusiastic to move through the course without any precedent, Beaumont said. Therefore, it is evident that although the logistics of the course are not precisely figured out, students will undoubtadly fulfill the instructional credit required.
Fitness and Nutrition currently do not have a set number of days inside the classroom per week to divide up the time for P.E. instruction and Health instruction, Beaumont said. It is already determined that students are to have Run Day once a week and either spend the entire period in the classroom or participate in physical activity on the remaining days. This is beneficial to students because the material from Health and P.E is split up to ensure that students do not become bored from one course.
Despite current confusion surrounding the logistics of the course, the combination of P.E Nine and Health as one class for freshmen is beneficial towards freshman that take the course as well as to Costa as a whole. With this new course, students will be able to sign up for more classes and won’t have to take summer school in order to fit classes.