New Gym Curriculum Focuses on Student Interests


Michael Mathis , Staff Writer

At last, the juniors of Staples Physical Education are free!

Well, more free.

This year, the Staples High School Physical Education Department sought to revise the junior class curriculum. Instead of the students following a rotation of sports prescribed by teachers, the students now browse through a list of activities on Schoology and vote on their favorites. Then, the teachers plan accordingly.

“We want to appease you,” Physical Educator Michael Caetano joked.

Physical education department chairman David Gusitsch explained that they’ve wanted to make this curriculum change for several years now. Through years of end-of-the-year surveys, Gusitsch found that many wanted more choice in the classes. Gusitsch and the department took this to heart.

“We don’t just throw those things away,” he said.

With the recent change, Caetano said he has seen a large shift in participation and effort from his students. The students, he said, are not only working more vigorously in class, but also sees them enjoying doing the activities.

“I think it’s because, most likely, they want to be there,” he said.

Indeed, many juniors taking physical education have explained that they like the class more now that they have a say.

“We all want to be involved in what we like,” Brittany Braswell ‘15 said.

Everett Sussman ‘15 was also supportive of the recent change.

“It’s a move in the right direction,” he said.

Nevertheless, with 15 activities to choose from, some students still find themselves confined to activities they don’t enjoy. One student, Luis Cruz, complained there was not enough variety.

“I want something different,” he said, referring to games like Wiffle Ball and Rugby, neither of which are currently a part of the curriculum.

In addition, sophomores like Vig Namasivayam ‘16 are pessimistic if this is what lies ahead for them in junior Physical Education.

“They do a lot of sports that are currently useless for fitness,” he said, pointing out activities like Volleyball and Pickleball.

Nonetheless, Gusitsch assured his students that they are trying to increase the repertoire, talking about introducing Paddleboarding sometime in the near future. He also asked that if students have ideas, they are more than welcome to come to him with them.

“We want to value every suggestion that comes in,” he said.

But above all things, Gusitsch wants to emphasize the importance of P.E. in general, hoping that whatever changes are made, they are made to benefit the students.