Your child needs to have the proper footwear for physical education classes and be dressed appropriately for activity. The ideal footwear for physical activity would be tennis shoes. Boots are allowed but are not ideal for running and climbing and many of the other activities that the students will be asked to perform. The real problem is the open toed and open heeled flip flop type shoes. These are not properly secured and do not give the proper support. They fly off easily and the students get their toes stepped on during group games and also it is very difficult to kick the ball with those open toed shoes and they develop bad habits and are not learning the skill properly due to this. It is also very difficult for the girls to run comfortably and properly when they are wearing high heeled shoes. This is an major safety issue not only for the student wearing the innapropriate footwear but also for other students as well. There are times that the student may miss opportunities to participate with the class group. However, no matter the type of shoe, we still have the expectation that students will be given the opportunity to participate in class activities and if their footwear warrants removal from the planned activity, they will be allowed to walk for exercise. I do not use exercise as punishment. Exercise is what this class is all about. The footwear may not be appropriate for running, etc. but if they are made for walking then the student can at least do that minimal activity while the remainder of the class does theirs.
The students should also be dressed in comfortable clothing that is appropriate for performance in this class. It is a school rule that the girls who are wearing skirts must always have shorts underneath their dress. I also ask that they remove any dangly jewelry as we have had incidents where earrings have become caught in the volleyball net as they ran by and things like that and those can be very messy incidents. I ask that the students leave these in their lockers when they come to class.
Students should also be properly dressed for the season and wearing their coats during cold weather which is pretty much anytime from October until May in the Texas Panhandle. We follow the 32/ 32 rule here when it comes to going outside. We will not go outside when it is below 32 degrees fahrenheit and/or 32 degrees windchill. We monitor that closely when going outside for physical education as well as recesses. It is still very cold if it is 35 degrees and you are not properly dressed for the elements. However, we have many students come to school who say that they did not wear a coat to school on those cold days.
These requests all deal with student safety and well being. We are not trying to be picky or demanding. If your child does not have the proper shoes or coats I ask that you please let me know this and we will always adjust properly.
If your child is injured or ill and unable to participate in physical education class, the parent should send a note to school with the student to give to the teacher. The note should specifically state the status of the child. For instance, "student may not participate" or "student is injured and may not throw the ball" or "student may not run today." Specific notes tell us whether the student should be held from all activities or should only be limited from certain skills and activities. Please send doctor notes when possible. A note from a parent may be used to excuse a student for up to 3 days by district rules but after that, only a doctor note will excuse the student from class activities. If the student does not have a note stating their limitations then they will be expected to participate in class activities just like they will for other courses that they are healthy to attend throughout the day.
The parent note should basically have the students name, date, the reason for inability to participate in the class activities, the duration that the note should be honored for, and the signature of the parent as well as a contact phone number. If the note does not include an expected duration then that note will only be honored for that one class day and another note would be required for any additional days. If the student forgets their note at home it is their responsibility to tell their homeroom teachers or to go see the school nurse so that she can either contact the parent or she may limit the student as she sees necessary as well. Obviously there are also times in which students get ill while at school and the nurse contacts the coach with the proper limitations for physical education class.
Please keep in mind that physical education is a class just like math or science and students have a responsibility to their classwork. Recess is a choice but physical education is a responsibility, expectation, and a requirement.