TPS PE classes finding ways to stay active with COVID-19 restrictions
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka West High School staff are coming up with innovative ways to get students safely active for physical education classes with COVID-19 restrictions.
Alyx Nash, Topeka West Lead Physical Education Coordinator said they will increase time spent outdoors for social distancing.
"I think that we are going to do our best to make sure that we maintain social distancing. Obviously outside allows us to do that as well as let our students and our staff get some fresh air," said Nash. "We just need to have that break to allow our body that oxygen, that movement so our brain and everything is ready to go for that next group of students or activities that we're doing."
Other ideas include having equipment assigned 1-to-1 for each student and sanitation of equipment after each class.
“So if a student comes in and they are someone who is using that item for the day when they are finished they will put that in a corner so that or a place in the gym that can be sanitized in between student use or between class uses,” she said.
They could also limit access to locker rooms. Topeka West can have up to six classes in one locker room at a time.
“What one school, or a couple of our schools, are doing is limiting the use of who is using those locker rooms. Our weight and strengthening class, that will probably be a little more active within their courses, to be able to change and then sanitize those in between the courses.”
Students will wear masks whenever possible, unless it is impacting their performance in class. They will also social distance.
“When student’s heart rates increase that increase their breathing and so we have recommended that teachers not just think about the six feet distance, that we’ve actually extended that to ten feet.”
There is an app to get kids moving if they are learning remotely.
“So if in the classroom, we’re working on a soccer unit and our kids decide to go outside or our kids are doing some dribbling exercises in here, obviously keeping them on the zoom is not going to be helpful so this resource provides them some instruction that they get to go pick,” said Nash. “I want to work on dribbling, this is the kind type I want to work on today, or I find this video really interesting.”
Nash said it could be up to each building and course on whether or not they will follow the recommendations.
She believes TPS students and staff can manage with COVID-19 restrictions.
“I think that it really falls into the hands of your teaching and your teachers and what we are modeling for our students. I think TPS has amazing students and I think what they ask of them, they’re going to follow no matter the age.”
And as the Topeka West Volleyball coach, she wants to get back to work but wants safety first.
“You want what’s best for your kids and there’s times when I’m like, let’s put them back in the gym and there’s times that I’m like you know, my overall goal is to keep these athletes safe and keep them going.”
A meeting is set for the first week of September where Nash and other teachers will share and solidify ideas for the fall.
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