To P.E. or not to P.E.?

1 min read

M-A requires students to earn twenty Physical Education (P.E.) credits to graduate, forcing many dedicated athletes to spend countless hours completing online P.E. While athletes not participating on an M-A team could prove their outside of school athleticism easily with a coach or guardian’s signature, instead they must spend their time logging hours of exercise, and writing paragraphs on the benefits of P.E.

While the state of California requires that “to fulfill the requirement for high school graduation, students must take two years of physical education…”, the state does not require the use of specific curricula for elementary, middle school/junior high and high school physical education.” This means that while California has developed its own standards for P.E., school districts do not legally have to comply.

Greta Hoffman dances 17 hours a week outside of school.

This past summer, senior Greta Hoffman found herself dedicating over 30 hours to Brigham Young University Walking Course. Hoffman described the course as “cutting into the time I could have spent working on college applications and summer homework.” Hoffman dances “17 hours every week with no breaks or seasons throughout the year.” She stated, “I’m getting way more exercise than I would have with a second year of P.E.”

Senior Louisa Calhoon has been on a crew team outside of school for all four years at M-A , and described her experience with online P.E. as “frustrating and annoying.” She explained, “It’s not like I’m sitting at home watching a movie or playing a video game. I’m working out much more than people taking P.E. at school, and even sports offered at M-A.”

Not only is online P.E. taking away valuable time from students athletes at M-A, but depending on the student, it can also be ineffective. Senior Michael Dailey  explained that despite online P.E. being an “easy” alternative to taking P.E., a student can easily cheat around it.

Hoffman described how “the walking course depended solely on a spreadsheet that you had to log your time and distance into, no tracking device or app or anything.” If it is truly students’ exercise that M-A is concerned about, then a note from a coach would be much more reliable than a spreadsheet full of false data.


Maxine is a senior and this is her first year writing for the Chronicle. Maxine’s passions for writing and current events are what sparked her interest in journalism. One of her favorite aspects of writing for the Chronicle is being able to collaborate with and getting to know a diverse collection of people in her community. Her favorite stories to write are opinion pieces which encompass the perspectives of a variety of students at Menlo-Atherton.

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