Physical Education is an integral part of our students’ education. Weekly PE attendance begins in Elementary and continues through SFA. Students attend one-hour sessions twice a week.
PE is divided into seasons, each 3-4 weeks long. This allows students to delve more deeply into particular areas while still enjoying variety throughout the year. Session topics include:
- Sports: including basketball, volleyball, soccer.
- Team building and cooperative games
- Individual games
Occasional Staff Versus Student games are also hugely enjoyed by all.
FMES/SFA students participate in a Fitness Challenge program. Students measure strengths/abilities and compare their progress at the end of the year with their results from the beginning of the year. The fitness tests include twelve minutes of running, one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups, and one minute of jumping jacks.
We also focus on healthy food choices and daily exercise via Shape Up Across Oregon, a program in which all schools in the state of Oregon participate.
Similar to their experiences in the classroom, students participate in shaping their physical education classes in a guided manner. Before each 3-4 week PE session begins, students work as a group to select activities from among options presented by the PE teacher.
A typical PE class will start with the students gathering in a circle as they do in their regular classroom for discussions. They discuss what they will do in the class that day as well as any questions or concerns. As a group they decide upon the warm-up plan and a student leads the stretches. The first game typically involves a great deal of running to provide aerobic exercise. The children are in charge of the game with the instructor carefully stepping in where needed for help or guidance. Collaboration and negotiation are both in abundance. The second activity is usually a quieter game. The class ends with transitioning – coming back to the circle for a calming routine in which students are asked to monitor their heartbeats and breathing as part of being in control of their bodies and their minds. This enables students to make the necessary shift to transition quietly to their classroom.
In addition to their PE classes, students enjoy having recess every day, usually as outdoor time (weather permitting). Our nine acre campus includes play structures, an indoor gym, foursquare court, a nature walking path, soccer field, a covered basketball court (useful in wet weather) and swings, plus gardens and natural areas for exploration.