Physical fitness is not only one of most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. - John F. Kennedy
Physical Welfare courses required for graduation:
All students must be enrolled in Physical Education except when waivers apply.
Read the introductory section for a full explanation of Physical Education requirements and waivers. Students should be prepared to discuss waiver applications with their counselors.
- Health Education
- Physical Education at Stevenson
- Health Education at Stevenson
- Alternative Physical Education
- PE Fitness Scores and Norms
The Physical Education Department offers a health-related fitness program. Students will experience a variety of cardiovascular and fitness-related activities, as well as physical skills, while participating in cardiovascular and team-centered activities. Students will also acquire the practical experiences and knowledge required to establish a healthy lifestyle, both as an adolescent and a maturing adult.
Excessive absenteeism or non-participation must be made up. Make-up cards are issued to students. Students can attend another class during their free hour, or use the fitness center or cardio center during their lunch hour of during Early Bird Physical Education for make-up credit.
Health education information is linked to the knowledge and understanding each student needs to improve his or her level of emotional and physical health. During the semester a students takes Health Education, he/she is not required to take Physical Education.
Medical excuses are accepted from parents for up to three days within each six-week grading period. Excuses of longer duration must be written by a physician. Students with physicians' notes will be accommodated in either an alternative activity or our alternative program (see Alternative Physical Education). Upon completion of the medical excuse, the student will be reassigned to a regularly scheduled Physical Education class. If a physical education student is also a student-athlete, any medical restrictions in physical education also will affect his/her athletic participation.
All classes in Physical Education (except the Leaders Programs) are pass/fail. Students must pass two of the three six weeks to attain a passing grade. Receiving a failing grade in the last six weeks of the semester will result in a failing grade for the semester.
The Stevenson High School health education program is a state-mandated, required course for graduation. Health Education is an academic, health science class. It does apply to the student's grade point average. It is a one-semester, Evidence-Based Reporting course. The emphasis in Health Education is on choices to empower personal wellness through experiential activities. The program is comprised of five units of study: Wellness and Mental Health, Adult CPR and AED, Fitness and Personal Health, Reality of Drugs and Social Health.
Topics addressed are current event issues, as well as long-standing concerns to our overall level of wellness. Emphasis is placed on personal ownership of one's health and choices in every domain of wellness.
Some topics discussed are of a sensitive nature, which is why we require a signed parental permission form. Parents are encouraged to contact the instructor if they have any questions or concerns about the methodology or content of any lesson plan. We also suggest that parents and students discuss issues raised in class with one another for further exploration.
Health Education is a resource-based program. The health/medical field evolves so rapidly and, in some cases, overnight. It is difficult for any one publisher to stay current on all issues. Simply stated, the world is our textbook. This allows us to stay current with the information as it becomes available.
Alternative Physical Education is for students who, for medical reasons, are unable to participate in regular physical education classes. This class is also for students with other disabilities that merit an adapted curriculum. All curriculum will be modified and adapted so that all students can participate and benefit. The instructor will work with the doctor in an effort to design a program to meet the individual needs of each student. Upon clearance from the doctor, a student will be readmitted to his/her regularly scheduled physical education class.
Alternative PE Doctor Form (PDF)
Mission and Vision
Through a variety of fitness-based activities, fitness-related discussions, and a comprehensive Health Education program, the Division of Physical Welfare will nurture students’ understanding, development, and maintenance of a healthy personal lifestyle.
I. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Students gain the knowledge and motivation necessary to become healthy, lifelong learners through a fitness-based curriculum. The foundation for cognitive and motor development begins with activities and classroom discussions during Freshman Physical Education and continues through Health Education. Students participating in the upper levels of the program will have choices in fitness and aerobics as well as individual and team sports. Our program is based on the following curricular goals:
- to provide an extensive curriculum in Physical and Health Education with opportunities for participation and development of students with diverse interests and abilities.
- to promote daily student participation and long-term development and improvement.
- to ensure that every student has the knowledge and skills to develop and implement a personal, lifetime fitness plan.
- to create assessments which are appropriate, accurate, and meaningful and based on both best practice in the fields of study and community expectations.
- to provide feedback on assessment results to students and their parents beyond the standard grade reporting procedures through the use of a comprehensive web site.
- to maintain longitudinal assessment results for each student which can provide the basis for personal health and fitness decisions.
II. Emphasis on the Individual Student: Equity and Access for All
We have a commitment to provide each individual student with an equal opportunity for daily physical education regardless of his/her athletic ability or physical capability. The individual needs of the student will determine his/her physical education choices, ranging from fitness to individual/team activities to leadership roles. While we recognize that it is part of human nature, especially during adolescence, to make choices, which are contrary to, personal health and fitness and that students may have opportunities to elect to waiver out of Physical Education, we will fulfill our professional obligation to provide clear and constant reminders of the consequences of poor health and fitness decisions. To achieve these goals, an exemplary program will recognize and embrace the following responsibilities:
- to provide a background in health, fitness, and individual/team activities in Freshman Physical Education through both physical participation and classroom activities/discussions.
- to exceed the State-mandated requirements for Health Education through a required semester course.
- to provide opportunities for a wide variety of physical activity: fitness, aerobics, aquatics, and individual/team sports.
- to offer unique experiences for student leadership, including physical education leadership, pool leadership, and lifeguarding.
- to make alternative physical education available (depending upon the student’s academic schedule) to students with physical and medical challenges to allow them to participate to their fullest potential.
- to ensure that each student’s success is determined by his/her individual participation, effort, and progress.
III. Working Within a Professional Learning Community
There is a clear correlation between high student motivation and achievement and the levels of collaboration, professionalism, and shared commitment that exist within a faculty/staff. With that in mind, we have established the following guiding principles as a reflection of our values as teachers and professionals:
- to work together to design a research-based curriculum that creates conditions which promote student success.
- to develop within our teaching teams a variety of instructional strategies to encourage the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
- to promote the importance of lifelong fitness and nutrition as students move throughout the Health and Physical Education programs.
- to collaborate with one another, sharing activities and lessons which will ensure student success and a rewarding professional experience.
- to act as professional educators with integrity and honesty and will develop relationships characterized by caring and respect.
- to develop and integrate technology when appropriate to achieve program goals and to enhance student learning.
IV. A Culture for Learning
Physical Education has undergone tremendous changes since Illinois state law mandated it shortly after World War II. We recognize that it is imperative that these changes be communicated to our community and our students so that the stereotype of a "gym class" can finally be eradicated. Our vision is of a Health and Physical Education program, which invites and encourages student participation through a sense of personal pride. To achieve this, we are committed to the following:
- to develop activities and lessons which support intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development through a variety of instructional strategies and formative assessment tools.
- to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, self-motivation and positive personal choices, and an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior.
- to adapt curriculum and instructional methods to the needs of diverse learners.
- to use a variety of instructional methods to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- to utilize a variety of assessment tools to evaluate and ensure the growth and development of the students.
- to promote the study and use of best practices as delineated by professional organizations in the field and to provide opportunities for continuous professional development.
- to share the concepts and tools of inquiry in these fields to create meaningful learning experiences.
V. Community Engagement
A school, by nature, reflects the goals, desires, and values of the community, which built it and supports it. For the Division of Physical Welfare in the 21st century, that will often create a conflict between academic and personal fitness goals, between perception and reality. We must create strong relationships within the extended community, earning its continued respect and trust, and accept the responsibility of holding the mirror of reality to our students, their parents, and the community at large, maintaining our focus and theirs on the physical, emotional, and mental costs of poor choices regarding personal health and fitness.
- to communicate and promote program goals to students and community and provide access to materials and links through a comprehensive web site.
- to foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the community to support student learning and well-being.
- to utilize community resources that are available to support and extend Division programs and goals.
- to articulate the vision and goals of the Division to faculty, staff, and students in our sender districts.
- to accept the responsibility of being a part of a lighthouse school, sharing ideas with visiting professionals, presenting at local and State conferences, and working collaboratively with colleagues at area schools.
- Freshman Foundational Fitness Choice P.E.* (PED121/122)
- Foundational Fitness Choice P.E.* (PED341/342)
- Choice P.E. (PED 451/452)
- Early Bird Choice P.E. (PED031/032)
- Adventure Education* (PED331/332)
- Alternative P.E. (PED111/112)
PE Leadership Opportunities
- Junior Leadership/PE Leadership Training (PED61L/62L)
- Senior Leadership (PED81L/82L)
- Alternative P.E. Leadership (PED41L/42L)
- Lifeguard Training and Certification (PED502) *Semester 2 only
- Water Safety Instruction and Certification* (PED51L)
- Pool Leadership (PED71L/72L) *full-year course
For course descriptions from all academic divisions, visit the Course Selection page.
Physical Education Leadership
During junior year in Leadership Training, students learn the methods and techniques of teaching physical education, the policies and procedures of the Physical Education Department, rules of the activities, and the role of the leader in the physical education program. Students will have the opportunity to be trained in the basic skills of the American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Aide program to assist our swimming classes. As seniors in PE Leadership, students are assigned to freshman, cardio/team and fitness classes to serve as teachers aides.
Alternative Physical Education Leadership
Alternative PE Leader Application -- Deadline: Last Day of Semester
Alternative PE leaders serve as teacher assistants in our Alternative PE classes. Alternative PE is for students who need modifications in their physical education class. The students who take this class may have a range of permanent or temporary disabilities and injuries. These problems may be physical, emotional, cognitive or a combination of these. Most leaders apply the second semester of their sophomore year. Junior leaders who have proven to work well in the program are given first priority for the senior leader positions and class choice. Seniors may apply, but are only eligible for open senior spots if they are open.
There are two types of Alternative PE classes: one where the class is predominately made up of students with moderate to severe physical and cognitive delays (6th Period) and the other that is made up of students with slight delays and students with temporary injuries. Individuals applying must be willing to work one-to-one and in small group environments with other students. Prior experience working with children who have special needs is helpful, but not required.
Alternative PE Leaders will be trained in class and are not required to take the PE Leadership class. Alternative PE Leadership is a two-year commitment and accepted applicants are expected to honor this commitment as a priority during senior year. Alternative PE is offered during limited periods during the day. Leaders may need to rearrange their academic schedule to accommodate this class based on acceptance and period placement.
Pool Leadership does not have an application. However, to enroll in the class (open to juniors and seniors), students must be Red Cross Life Guard Certified and Red Cross WSI certified.
The first part of the program consists of the American Red Cross Fundamentals of Instructor Training and Water Safety Instructor Course. Students will learn techniques of teaching swimming, the policies and procedures of the Physical Education Department as they pertain to aquatics and the role of the pool leader in the aquatic program.
Following this certification, the students will serve as Water Safety Instructors, Lifeguards, and pool aides to the aquatic coordinator. Each student will receive ongoing Lifeguard In-Service Training while in the program that will keep their certifications current and their skills sharp.
At the end of each semester, a student must receive a recommendation in his/her evaluation to continue in the leadership program. The required textbook and materials for the course are available in the Patriot Super Store. Failure to comply with the Stevenson High School Student Guide Code of Conduct and P. E. Leader Code of Conduct can result in immediate dismissal.