Broward and Palm Beach counties skimp on physical education

Scott Travis of  the South Florida Sun-Sentinel  reports that some Florida schools are not meeting the state requirement for 30 minutes of physical education each day. Although a law passed in 2007 requires 30 minutes of P.E. instruction every day, schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties only offer traditional gym classes once or twice a week.

The law, signed by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007, initially required elementary schools to provide 150 minutes of P.E. per week. But some schools tried to get around it by counting three-minute walks to the cafeteria or classroom toward the total. The next year, the Legislature changed the requirement to 30 minutes of continuous physical activity each day.

Travis reported that at  Nob Hill Elementary in Sunrise, regular classroom teachers handle the half-hour P.E. instruction once a week, then on the other days they are supposed to take the students out for recess. He noted that Roseanne Eckert complained to the principal that her son was not getting the required 150 minutes of activity per week.

Nob Hill Principal Patricia Patterson said that was an isolated case and most teachers welcome the opportunity to take their students out for recess.

“Am I the P.E. police? No,” she said. “They’re professionals, and I trust that they’re following the standards and implementing organized games.”

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