P.E. exemptions law expands options


Carter Day

Senior Jianna Bocconcelli throws a football for her PE class. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Fit Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays to try out different activities and sports.

Brendan Burns, News Editor

Band students, WILCO students, and athletes involved in more than one sport have the option to take P.E. out of their schedule, also known as taking a P.E. exemption.
Last year, the state law SB-1947 expanded P.E. exemptions to allow “on a case-by-case basis” exemptions for students who participate in interscholastic or extracurricular athletics.
Every request for exemption from P.E. will have to be verified and meet all standards. The principal will be the last person to sign off on the exemption, after the athletic director.
“If a student is in two sports and meets all requirements for it, I have to sign off on it,” Mark Krusz, athletic director, said.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the daily P.E. requirement for Illinois schools has also been reduced from five days or 100 minutes per week to a minimum of three days per week with no time requirement, which mostly impacts younger students. However, if there are more P.E. exempts, there could be fewer students in high school P.E. classes.
“If a lot of students were to take gym exempt it could affect the personnel in our building for P.E, and it would affect the students in every class,” Krusz said.
Any student who drops the course/activities that allowed their P.E. exemption will lose it and be placed in P.E.
“I think students should stay involved with P.E. Being active and out there communicating with others can be really good for students, not to mention, we have such amazing gym teachers,” Jennifer Giorgetti, counselor, said.
If a student requests a P.E. exemption, those students will have to take certain academic courses and maintain a full academic schedule, which includes minimally 6 courses for juniors and 5 courses for seniors.
If any senior aspires to have early release, late start, or senior off-campus lunch, they cannot have P.E. exempt.
“For students, it is all about balance, if a student is going to take 4 advanced classes, there has got to be time to relax or not focus academically,” Giorgetti said.
While some students are glad to have the P.E. exempt, others say no.
“Throughout all of school, gym has been my favorite class to look forward to in the day. Being with my friends and having fun is something I can’t pass up,” Sheldon Blackamore, senior, said.
Certain students that take the P.E. exempt only do it because they must.
“I have had cases where students inform me of a certain college that requires them to take a class and they have to have an open slot for it, forcing gym to not be in their schedule,” Giorgetti said.
Some students appreciate P.E. exempt because it allows them to take more academic classes.
“I get to focus more of my energy into classes that could better my future,” Alex Ilibasic, senior, said.