Though many students have returned to the classroom in School District 58 with social distancing measures, this reporter still had one burning question:
What about gym class?
While physical exercise has been a key focus even during the pandemic, a return to the classroom has made the need for physical education crucial.
So, as they did when schools were shut, teachers around the board have gotten creative.
“Playgrounds are once again open, so we’ve got kids outside,” said SD58 Superintendent Stephen McNiven.
McNiven said that in conversation with staff, he has heard stories of teachers taking students for a bike ride, playing frisbee golf, or any other sort of outdoor activity: something McNiven thinks is crucial for social distancing.
“Outside time and fresh air is a good thing.”
One Collettville teacher, Mrs. Luck, said that the school has even created a fun new game for social distancing, human foosball.
As for use of the gymnasiums and indoor activities, McNiven said that has still been severely limited.
Assistant Superintendent Jameel Aziz said many teachers have been taking their kids on outdoor field trips.
“Things like hiking, just getting out, because those are opportunities to be able to keep kids distanced and out in the fresh air.”
These new methods of phys. ed. are certainly welcomed more in June, than they would be in say, February. Aziz mentioned how anxious both teachers and staff are to be outside.
“It’s an opportunity for them to really take advantage of some experimental learning,” said Aziz.
The experimental learning is the key point here, as school district staff are certain that many of these new ways of teaching will eventually even be carried over to the new curriculum after the pandemic is over.
They certainly see that as a positive.
“Some of these new initiatives have been so creative,” said “McNiven, “and maybe some of these new initiatives that people are doing in a positive way in this very difficult time are going to kind of carry over.
“So it will be interesting to see.”
Both McNiven and Aziz commend their staff for continuing to find new and creative ways for their students to learn: facing similar challenges that they did when giving virtual lessons.