Baldwin-Whitehall board considers credit increase for phys-ed classes
By Laura Van Wert
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Physical-education credits could increase for students at Baldwin High School during the next school year.
Andrea Huffman, director of curriculum, and Jonathan Peebles, Baldwin High School vice principal, spoke to the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board earlier this month about increasing the credits per semester for physical education from one quarter to one half. The credit increase would enable students to complete the physical-education graduation requirement as early as his or her sophomore year.
“We want to create as much flexibility in a schedule as possible,” Huffman said.
School board members are scheduled to vote on the credit increase in December.
Huffman said some students aren't able to take certain classes because they have to fit in the physical-education requirement. In other cases, students choose to take a class instead of taking a lunch period.
Students who would like to take physical education past the graduation requirement would do so as an elective course, Huffman said.
“I think it gives our students options,” said Denise Sedlacek, assistant superintendent. “Physical-education classes are a scheduling nightmare.”
Physical-education classes at Baldwin have as many as 40 or 50 students in them because of scheduling issues, Huffman said. Increasing the credit requirement would reduce the number of students per class.
The initiative is not intended to reduce physical-education staff, she said.
School board member Larry Pantuso said he would like to see how many students would benefit from increasing physical education credits, how many students choose to take classes instead of a lunch and the body-mass-index numbers at the high school before voting.
“I think we need everything together to make a decision,” Pantuso said.
Also, allowing students to complete physical-education requirements as sophomores might not be beneficial to their health, Pantuso said.
“That may be the only physical activity those children get,” Pantuso said.
Timothy Laughlin, a physical education teacher at Baldwin High School, said he and the other physical education teachers were approached for feedback by the administration. They share some of Pantuso's worries about increasing the credit amount.
“We do have a lot of those concerns,” Laughlin said.
The following items were voted on at the Nov. 14 Baldwin-Whitehall School Board business meeting:
• Fee increases for certain groups using Baldwin-Whitehall facilities will be postponed.
The school board, in a 5-3 vote, tabled a motion to revise the charges for groups to use district facilities. School board members Kevin Fischer, Diana Kazour and John Schmotzer dissented.
School board member Nancy Crowder said she didn't like the category in which parent-teacher groups fit into for the fee revisions. Those groups are an extension of the classroom, she said.
“This is a slap in the face for parent involvement,” Crowder said. “I won't support (it) this way.”
• The board approved the retirement of Lorraine Murray, a bus attendant for more than 18 years, and John Odoski, a bus driver for more than 11 years.
• The school board unanimously approved accepting the 2011-12 audit report by Cottrill, Arbutina & Associates P.C., which gave the district an unqualified opinion, the highest it could receive.
• The administration recognized Daniel Constantini, Mark Salera and Laney Barone for receiving Steel Center Vocational Technical School extra-effort awards for carpentry, food services and health assistance, respectively.
• The administration recognized Michaela Woods, Emilee Spozarski, Stephan Kisty, Jacob Kemerer, Sam Barbano and Samantha Jurczyk for leading the J.E. Harrison Middle School's Sumdog mathematics competition team to a second place title in the nation.
Harrison's team took second place out of 432 schools nationwide. Forty-three Harrison students answered 32,594 mathematical questions correctly during a seven-day period.
The competition included 27,815 other students. For at least 1,000 questions answered, Woods, an eighth-grader, placed 18th overall, with 98.5 percent accuracy; Spozarski, a seventh-grader, placed 33rd overall, with 97.2 percent accuracy; and Kisty, an eighth-grader, placed 44th, with 96.2 percent accuracy. Kemerer, Barbano and Jurczyk each scored above 95 percent per 1,000 questions answered.
Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Figure skating coach dies in crash at Washington County Airport
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Obamacare dramatically increases costs for some small businesses
- Starkey: No shame for Robert Morris
- Sandusky’s wife says she believes he’s innocent
- Can Pirates star outfielder McCutchen be even better in 2014?
- Curtain call: Final wintry blast due to hit Western Pa.
- 1 killed in Washington County car crash