P.E. May No Longer Be Required At Aurora Schools

Physical Education Will Still Be Offered As Elective

Physical education classes have been standard for generations. But for some Colorado students, gym may not be mandatory anymore.

Aurora school administrators are considering a plan that would eliminate the requirement for high school students in their district. By changing the rules, they say it will be easier for students to take more specialized and elective classes that will put them in a better position for them to get into college.

"Aurora Public Schools is proposing a change in graduation requirements to align with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education requirements so our diploma will allow access to every college/university in Colorado. Our vision is to graduate every student with the choice to attend college without (the need for) remediation. Therefore, it is important that students have the coursework required for college entrance. Under the proposed graduation requirement changes, physical education and all elective courses will continue to be offered to Aurora Public Schools high school students. As Aurora Public Schools develops academic and career pathways, the need to maximize choice is critical," said spokeswoman Paula Hans in a statement to 7NEWS.

Some parents and students are questioning the plan.

"If you do have the physical fitness or gym, as we called it my day, it just allows you to get that little energy out and come back into focus," said parent Tonie Parks.

School leaders stress P.E. will still be offered, it just won't be required as it has in the past.

As Aurora weighs its options, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would make physical education mandatory for all elementary students.

"There's so much research that connects mind and body to doing better on tests," said state Rep. Rhonda Fields, the sponsor of the bill.

"I believe that you can't stop physical activity and movement because you have progressed beyond the eighth grade," said Fields.

School officials note, 40 percent of students are taking more than the required amount of physical education in Aurora.

The school board might vote on Feb. 1.