INDEPENDENT STUDY PHYSICAL EDUCATION (ISPE) is an educational option beginning in 6th grade designed by the California Department of Education and approved by SMMUSD. It affords students the opportunity to extend physical education learning activities beyond the school campus and regular school hours. ISPE is fully optional, and those who qualify and participate can opt out of Physical Education during the school day. With that opening in their schedule, many students are able to take a language or an extra music class.
THE SCHOOL BOARD IS CONSIDERING SIGNIFICANTLY LIMITING THE ISPE PROGRAM STARTING IN THE UPCOMING 2018-19 SCHOOL YEAR, THEREBY EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATING THE OPTION FOR NEARLY ALL STUDENTS. Current middle and high school students would be grandfathered in to their current ISPE program (if they are in one), so only incoming 6th graders in the next school year would feel the effect of this change.
Proponents of ISPE feel that outside physical activities are at least if not more rigorous than the PE offered at school, and those students should be able to be exempt from PE class AND be able to use that freed up time as they wish (for electives or homework time.)
Opponents of ISPE feel that in a district where so much of our discussion revolves around equity for all, the opening of space in a student’s schedule because they are involved in other outside sports produces an “opportunity gap” because they now have access to more music, language, etc that is not accessible to the student who chooses or is unable to participate in an outside sport (due to medical, financial, or many other reasons.)
Would you like to voice your concerns or opinions, or do you need more information? If so, please consider attending the next SMMUSD Board meeting on Thursday, February 15th at the district office (1651 16th Street.) The meeting begins at 5:30pm but the above subject will probably be presented and discussed around 7:15pm.
If you can’t attend,, consider contacting our School Board President Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein at firstname.lastname@example.org .