Help with Suggestions For My Daughter's PE Requirements

kimj_2008October 22, 2008

Hi,Everyone. As a new member,I'm seeking your help in some suggestions from other moms and perhaps their daughters in helping my daughter adjust to some issues she is experiencing in Physical Education(Ninth Grade,Age 14) at her school(private school-girls). The two PE Teachers are very experienced,very athletic,nice with parents,very demanding of their students("dressing out",PE Detention if there is misbehavior or class "cuts",showering requirement,strict grading,lots of graded activities,and the old-fashioned one piece gymsuits being required for many years). Some areas where I need some help with suggestions as to how I can help my daughter be successful in this class (graduation requirement,Grades 9-12 PE/Health must be successfully completed with a grade of "C" or higher).She was used too much less expected in public school PE,but also very few actual activities in PE.As Moms we all know the problems of girls with PE but it has obviously become a very important health issue for our country and I do want my daughter to be successful and solve this situation herself with my support. Any ideas or your experiences with any of the following would be appreciated:She is frightened about the strict requirements for demonstrating skills in gymnastics,tumbling,and swimming;some other girls in Field Hockey during Gym have singled my daughter out as the "new kid"(swats with the stick on the back of her legs,shins,etc.);how to best prepare for physical fitness tests including the mile run and rope climb(timed);she has a week of PE Detention coming up(an hour each afternoon on the athletic field,running the stadium steps,etc. and says she is not going because she can't do that much activity without throwing up,embarrassment at other girls seeing her in punishment,etc.),how to help her overcome that dislike for the one-piece gymsuit and showering requirement(group/open shower area) when she insists on wearing her own shorts/T-Shirt and waiting until she gets home to shower;will not wear the required leotard,tights,and ballet slippers for dance(ballet) activity or the school required one-piece swimsuit;and does anyone know of any supply source for a blue one-piece gymsuit (you guessed it-she "lost" the one the school supplied and "forgot" her sneakers and got PE Detention when she refused to do PE Activities/Exercise in her socks) and of course I have to try to find a supply or sports uniform store or online site to hopefully get a replacement gymsuit. Maybe some of the Moms out there might have saved theirs from PE and might be willing to sell theirs or may know of a supply source for the one-piece gymsuit. I certainly don't want my daughter to fail PE. Any ideas to help her understand we moms have all survived the High School PE Experience. She feels no one else understands what she is going through and all the other girls are better at sports than she is,hates the PE Fitness Tests,feels the two PE Teachers are picking on her and she makes mistakes in the graded skills "because the teachers and other girls are watching her ONLY",won't "dress out" or shower in front of the other girls,etc. My daughter's name is Kimmy (Age 14) and I will show her the feedback. Maybe moms out there can get some ideas from their daughters as to how to help my daughter be more successful(at least a "C" Grade...I would like to see a "B") in her Physical Education Class this year. Thanks for your help....Kim J.

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I see two different parts to this problem: Attitude and Ability.

Let's start with Ability. It sounds like Kimmy may not be a natural athelete, and this is OK. It's not a 'shameful secret' and not something the gym teachers should 'punish' her for. My honest recommendation is to come right out and admit it. Admit it to the gym teachers. Admit it to the other girls. Then get to work on remediating it. I'm not saying she can work her way into natural talent, but she can absolutely work to improve her skills and build endurance. Ask them for help in achieving it -- not help in avoiding it.

Which leads right to Attitude. Without a change in attitude, there can be no success. It sounds to me like Kimmy's attitude is more than half of the problem. The teacheres simply will not pass her if she refuses to comply with the school's rules. You can fight the system and protest loudly, quietly, or passive-aggressively -- but you won't win. She's going to have to comply.

Imagine Karaoke singing when you need a basket with a lid to carry a tune! You can refuse to sing, or you can admit you're awful, paste on a big goofy smile, and belt one out. Sure, they'll laugh. But let 'em laugh WITH you rather than AT you -- then quickly change the subject to something you're good at.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Gosh, I feel for you. Maybe if the physical requirements weren't so demanding, she wouldn't have a problem with any of this. I really don't like the forced open shower thing at that age. Is there a principal you can talk to about that? I went to private school and although we had to participate, we never had to be good at anything, and skills were not required.

The uniform, she's gonna have to swallow and wear. End of story. Shouldn't really be a big one. I hated my gym uniform too; that's life.

You know our grades in gym class were based on actual written tests on the sports we were participating in. How many players on the field, where the sport developed.. Sometimes they were pretty hard and indepth. Do they still do any of that or is it really all about the physical?

I personally really don't like that the push is on so much physical stuff. Teachers may think they are doing right but they are creating a person that will probably always have a very negative feeling associated with pyhsical activity... very sad for her. Part of teaching well at that age is making someone enjoy the activity. I don't think the gym teachers are doing their job. Awkward or not, athletic or not, kids should enjoy and look forward to gym class. It's a shame your child doesn't. I do think a lot of fault can be placed on a bad gym school policy and the gym teachers.

Tell you're daughter to suck it up and wear the uniform. Talk to someone about the open showers. I seriously can't believe you would be the only parent to mention this. Have your daughter try and do her best and explain there are some things in life we have to do even though we don't like them. Hopefully, she won't get totally turn off from physical activity because of this.

Is there a dance, yoga, karate class, or something she may like to take to offset this negative experience and maybe make her a little more self confident physically? Maybe even a different hobby (not physical related --like the chess or speech club) may be good for her confidence at this age.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 6:14PM
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With your daughter's attitude I'm not surprised she's got detention. And not showing up for detention is either going to generate more detention or more serious consequences. Eventually it will get to a point where she will have no hope of passing PE.
She needs to suck it up and wear the clothes. Everyone's dressed the same, so they're all "suffering" together, if that's how she wants to look at it. And if she wasn't so focussed on the clothes, more of her energy could go to the actual PE. I'd contact the school about getting a replacement gym suit. You'll probably have to pay for it, but they must have a handle on supply if they already give all the students the suits.
As to the showers, she could try showering in her bathing suit and changing in the toilets.
But really, if she doesn't start being more cooperative in gym class you can expect to get a call from the school to discuss it.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I think it is not helpful to just tell your daughter that she just has to put up with it all, as has been suggested. She needs useful advice on how to cope with her problem, she is obviously having a difficult time and needs help !

My DD went through all of this PE and used to complain about it as well. In Australia, where I live, the children do not have to have showers after the sport, and I just can't imagine how it is acceptable for young girls to be showering in open showers ! I would certainly complain about this, to the school, if I were you.

Your school does sound unusually strict about the requirements for the children. In some ways I think it is a good thing, because of the obesity epidemic, which is happening here as well. So I am in favour of more physical activity the better !

Does your school have a counsellor ? Make an appointment and chat to them about your daughter's issues.

My son had a difficult time in PE, as well. He just hated doing some things, and because he was not good at it, with his best effort, the teacher just picked on him. Some of these PE teachers really just don't seem to foster a love of sport for the children and get really annoyed if some child just can't keep up.

As Carla pointed out, surely the aim is to foster a love of exercise and sport, not make it torture !

You have the right to be heard and have your problem address.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:49PM
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For the most part I think she has to learn to just, well, suck it up. She doesn't want to shower with everyone else (I wouldn't either), but what is the alternative? She is treated differently (with permission) or she gets endless detentions? Same with the uniforms. Anything she does that singles her for special treatment is bad, IMO. It will only continue the "new girl" treatment and likely cause it to be entrenched. She has to complete her detention, obviously, she brought it on herself and it seems it was given for breaking known rules.

Can you meet with the gym teachers, maybe together with a guidance counselor, to discuss your daughter's fears (the legitimate ones about not doing well, not the whiney ones like the uniform) and see what can be done to help her succeed? I'm sure she's not the first non-athletic girl to attend the school.

At least she's in a girls only school. I went to a public school in the 70s and 80s (graduated in 1986). Our gym uniform was SHORT shorts (remember those?) and a little t-shirt. And it was co-ed. No sports bras then either, and I was a D cup by high school. We also had outdoor gym in those shorts until November (in New England, 45 degrees out).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Thanks for all the good ideas. Kimmy and I talked this evening and she is going to put forth more effort in PE. The first 9 week grading period ends soon and she will probably get an F (there is no D Grade at the school).Each class,including PE/Health must have a successful passing grade of C(70-79) to count as a graduation credit. F is 0-69. She knows she has to work toward several grades higher than C because of that F soon to come. I have told her that if PE is failed during ths school year she has to retake the class this summer(it would be with the same gym teacher and it does get hot in Virginia during the summer...she would not want to run laps in July).She knows she starts the PE Detention tomorrow and since she missed a day,it continues all next week(60 minutes on the athletic field each afternoon.I have told Kimmy she is not going to faint or drop dead even running the steps at the stadium. I didn't tell her but I'm not so sure about the other girls on the athletic field at the same time..the Cheerleader/sports jock group watching and laughing at her with both gym teachers working out the detention group of 6 students,whistles blowing,etc. She might toss her cookies but she is going to complete the detention. She has set that goal for herself and all of us know,she will not want to go through that again after the detention time is finished. She knows she has to "dress out" and shower because now the gym teachers are aware that she threw away the gymsuit(she told them and me it was "Lost") and has done the towel getting wet in the shower water trick instead of actually guessed it some other girls snitched to the kid in school peer pressure time that we all know about. For Carla 35:written tests at the end of each PE unit are 30% of the PE/Health Grade each 9 week grading period,performance/skill ability is 50% and effort/participation is 20%(attendance,no tardies,dressing out on time,attitude,effort,showering/hygiene,etc.)There are also 10 section physical fitness testing each semester as an exam. Gym Class is three days each week(M,W,F)@90 minutes;Dance Class(Ballet this grading period) is one class weekly(Tuesdays)@60 minutes/Health 30 minutes;Swimming Skills Class is on Thursdays @60 minutes/Safety Ed.-First Aid 30 minutes.For Colleenoz:it turned out my daughter's main concern was not really wearing that one piece gymsuit but having to wear all that PINK Dance/Ballet Leotard,Tights,Slippers as a Beginning Dance Student since she has to remain in the Beginner Class until the performance skills are successfully passes at that level. She thinks she would have to keep wearing PINK until she graduates...I am trying to locate a good dance/ballet instructor in Eastern Virginia or North Carolina to work with her in private ballet lessons after school to build both self-confidence and skills. The other girls in upper grades have also scared her with tales about some type of dance punishment exercises that have to be done in front of the class if they mess-up or even one student does not put forth effort. The ballet instructor is very demanding but she has met with Kimmy to reassure her. Kimmy knows what will be expected of her and she must wear the required dance uniform for beginners but Kimmy also saw the some of the other girls coming out of ballet as she was going in the locker room--walking gingerly and talking about something in ballet called the "Terrible Leaps" and punishment drills. For Sue 36 I do remember those SHORT Short Days in PE 1980's. It got cold in Virginia too with just T-Shirt/Shorts on in November,esp. in Field Hockey. Thinking about those field hockey sticks hitting the ankles and thighs still bring back memories.I have told Kimmy most of us have experienced that gym uniform requirement and a co-ed gym class might be worse. I am still trying to find a supply source for those hard-to-find onepiece blue gymsuits but she does have the white knee socks,white sneakers,school sweatshirt. The school did not have any X-Large gymsuits left for this year but they are going to let her wear a leotard/shorts until I can find a source to purchase the gymsuits(I'm going to get several at one time). At least that is temporarily if only she understands Ballet Choice is PINK or PINK even those "sissy" /"geeky" ballet slippers/lace as she calls them. Hopefully our blog/forum members(or their daughters) can give Kimmy or myself some continuing ideas how to be successful in PE this year. Public school PE requirements were not as strict but we all know the significant issues with youth health/obesity/lack of exercise nationally today. The health of adults gets better but many public schools no longer even require PE Class for graduation.Some of our forum members must have been good in PE during their school days and could offer Kimmy some tips for Field Hockey,Gymnastics/Tumbling,Swimming Skills,passing those Physical Fitness Tests,etc. My PE Days for girls was a lot of standing around while the boys were on the athletic field and the gym court. My sports were Fencing and Volleyball(high school,college). I'm still thinking about some other ideas. Kimmy is also trying to get some good ideas to deal with this issue from other girls on the gURL Website. Thanks for the continuing ideas. Kim J

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 3:37AM
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My daughter didn't want to take PE due to the teachers sexual orientation she was uncomfortable. You will need to check and see if this is available in your area, but she was able to take PE in the summer at the college where she not only received the credits she needs for High School, but also college.
It really worked out well, in fact she started taking her college basics '

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Thanks for all the feedback and good ideas. Colleenoz is right when she says that she is surprised with my daughter's attitude in PE she didn't get PE detention before now in October. She began 9th Grade in public school in North Carolina when living with her Father/step-mom. The high school had very relaxed "open campus" policies. The school allowed all students(even 9th Graders) to have one study period in their schedule of 8 classes and Kimmy even "convinced her dad and the guidance counselor to let her have a study hall(a second one)also in Band Class Period "helping" the Band Teacher sort music sheets,etc. Through tears and everything,her dad and the guidance counselor were convinced that her new braces hurt too much to play the clarinet ALL SEMESTER. This new study hall began in early September with a note from the Orthodontist excusing her from Band Participation. You guessed it,she used this new study hall period to start a sorority in the band room . While the Band Teacher was busy during her planning period,the girls were "busy" with "slam books" about cheerleaders,boys,teachers,etc. Gifted kids have the verbal ability to get very creative. That sorority as initiation even spray painted the initials of the opposing school on the cheerleader pom poms before the first football game spirit assembly. Several of the girls in the sorority got scared as 9th Graders when the cheerleaders were trying to find out who did it and were going to get whoever it was. Several 9th Graders told their parents and snitched on the other girls,inc. Kimmy. The principal got the Cheerleading Coach and Student Honor Council involved and Kimmy came to live with me in mid-October here in Virginia. I tried to make the best decision by selecting a school that expected more from students,kept students busier learning(idle hands ,idle minds,etc. concept) and I thought the girl's only(single sex) private school(day and boarding...Kimmy is a day student,7:30 AM - 5:00 PM,M-F)was the best choice for academics since 9th Grade is so important and they also offer student leadership development/community service/mentoring opportunities. The school day at the academy is 8 classes @ 90 minutes each,inc. Health/PE and each class meets on alternate days(4 classes M,W;4 classes T,Th) and all classes meet on Fridays for a shorter amount of time. She began the new school on Oct. 15 and quickly found out she was the "new kid" and was not going to control the classroom. Living with me is a good thing even though I don't have an UPSTAIRS MAID and a DOWNSTAIRS MAID.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 9:09AM
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GOSH, so her PE grade is
30% tests
20% effort/participation
50% Performance/skill

So, someone in a wheel chair or with asthma would probably flunk? I can't believe skill is even calculated in the equation. Yes, effort and participation is important and could be the full grade, but I thought school is academic and requiring physical skills to pass a class seems like it could almost be illegal. It's very discriminatory.

I went to a college prep all girls private school too and this seems nothing like my school. And, I was very athletic myself so I'm not simply 'relating' to her. I really don't think their gym policies are acceptable.

I know your daughter has problems and I don't know all her background, (Was there an additional problem/reason she was originally living with her dad over you?) Divorce, changing households, and that kind of stuff can really take it's toll on some kids too. I think talking to someone may help her and again, finding an activity that she enjoys and is good at could really help her esteem and attitude. She may just be feeling so negative that everything is a fight and it all becomes a downhill spiral. See may just need something to stop that downhill descent. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:00AM
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To Carla35:At the beginning of this school year Kimmy thought she would live with her father and his new wife since all of her middle school grades were in the same school in North Carolina when her Dad and I were married and she wanted to start high school with her friends. That was the main reason she wanted to live with her Dad and step-mom but I now realize the main reasons were the social aspect of being with her friends in high school and the high school there was VERY FLEXIBLE,esp. for gifted students. PE Class Skills and sports rules were taught at the computer lab with free-choice activities one session each week in the gym. Class time was 45 minutes and now the gym time is 90 minutes. The public school gym class was learning by sitting at a computer and they even got to bring "nutritious"snacks(I can only imagine what was chosen). I know PE by computer makes no sense from a fitness standpoint but I guess the push towards academics only in school is now in all subjects,even PE. Anyway,I thought a fresh start in a girls private school(college prep.,very experienced,high standards,leadership opportunities for girls) was the best choice. All the social time back in North Carolina with her friends and even convincing her Dad she was going to the library to study(mall time,those sorority pranks she started with some other 9th grade girls)were too much for her Dad to handle(he avoids any unpleasant issues by walking away thus he tried to always please her). When the previous school was going to suspend her and the four other girls for pranks against the cheerleaders(damage to school property by painting their pom poms)I thought it best for Kimmy to live with me in Virginia and start in a new school that would expect more from her. I won't call it tough love but I honestly think serious problems would have happened later if she had stayed at the public high school in North Carolina and continued with the same friends while living with her Dad,no chores,etc. I honestly think part of the PE problem now is that she bragged to the other girls at the new school about wearing t-shirt,cut-offs or sweats,and flip-flops for PE(in the COMPUTER LAB) and she bragged to her friends in North Carolina that she was going to change things at this new school in Virginia. I think we both know what the outcome of that will be. She starts the 1 Hour PE Detention this afternoon and it is now six days. I am nervous for her but I honestly don't think she is going to faint or hurt herself doing all that work-out in detention. I honestly think it is one of those life lessons that will be good for her.I don't know anyway around the cheerleaders and athletes also being at the athletic field the same time as detention. They may laugh at Kimmy but she did bring the detention upon herself. You are exactly right that if a student has a medical disability(doctor's LETTER REQUIRED) or a religious exemption,there is an adapted Physical Education/Health Class focusing on individual needs and an S(Satisfactory) or U(Unsatisfactory) grading system with individual goals and a very small teacher-student level of 10 students(grades 9-12) in the adapted PE Class with one teacher in the auxiliary gym. Much less intensive but I just don't think it would be best for Kimmy and there is not really a medical reason to exempt her from regular PE Class. I would not feel honest doing this when I am trying to work with Kimmy on being more honest and responsible. We both know that would single her out more as the "new" kid and I think she might even start bragging again about getting out of gym class,not dressing out,showering,etc. I think we have turned the corner with my session with her last night and her going to PE Detention starting this afternoon. But I will be looking for the school activity bus at 6:00 this evening and seeing if she is still able to walk after pe detention. I guess it's early bedtime for her this evening. I appreciate your interest/feedback. Keep the ideas coming.Ihave started her in Red Cross Babysitting Classes two evenings a week,youth bible study at church is one night,and I have enrolled her in an aquatic fitness class(I thought it would build endurance for the school's swimming requirement by Red Cross Standards and she has this fear of sinking),I think her self-confidence will improve in slow steps. I don't think I need to show up at the atletic field this afternoon during detention time because I don't think it would be good for Kimmy and she has to learn to meet the expectations of her gym teachers as the adults. Hope to hear from you soon on the blog. Thanks for understanding,...Kim.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 12:26PM
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I bumped up another thread for you and your daughter titled: Opposed to required swimming/showers in P.E.

I suggest that you down load it for you and your daughter to read. I will tell you up front that I fully support your daughters view on the subject of required showers in a school setting. Have her read everyone's views (mine included...I posted several times on that post, and I will tell you that no post have ever raised my blood pressure as this one has).

Have her read all sides to this issue. If she still feels strongly against group showers, teach her how to advocate for what she believes in, and how to stand up for what she believes. It should serve her well in life.

And last, many P.E. courses can be taken on-line during the summer for high school credit. Look into this. I know kids who have done it this way.

If they want her to get exercise, agree, but let her get involved in sports of her choosing, in a way that does not compromise her self esteem and self worth in the process. You can get physically fit in many ways.

Read the other post. I wish your daughter well, and encourage you to "listen and hear" your precious daughter, so she knows that her opinions and thoughts do matter, and will be heard.

Who knows, perhaps she will pave the way for the younger girls coming up behind her, who feel as strongly as she does.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 10:45AM
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I read your comments on the other thread and couldn't agree more. I thought it was maybe just me, but I seriously can't imagine showering together at that age. I wonder if the gym teacher has to shower naked with them too (why do I doubt it)... or the other teachers for that matter. I wonder if they would have a problem with it; maybe it could be suggested that the teachers all shower together on hotter days or after the teacher-student volleyball match to see what they think of it.

Seriously, a shower is not needed after gym class; that's something to be done on personal time at home. I'd be a little mad they were wasting school time doing it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 3:34PM
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from a mom of a 16 yo girl and a 14 yo boy, both day students at a local NE day/boarding school....

please... this child needs some discipline in her life and I'm glad to see you've put her in a school that doesn't take nonsense from their students... if you didn't you'd leave her in a public school, where she could coast.

Showering... I'm well over 50, we had a shower room in high school way back then... get issued a towel from the supply room, enter the dressing area, strip down, toss your gym clothes in a bin, hit the shower, wrap the towel around you, head out to the locker room, grabbing your own gym things on the way, and get dressed, toss the towel in the bin, gym clothes in your locker, and then head for class... if you do it quickly you didn't even have to drop the towe for gods sakes... hold it in you hands over you head , twirl in the water spray, and wrap as you bring your arms down...

Sounds like Kimmy has been getting her way for way too long... These types of schools are full of children who want to be successful in life... and their parents push them... peer pressure is typically to be your personal best at everything... even if YOUR personal best is pretty sucky... if you don't put in the effort the other students will get on you... if you put in the effort and suck, they will support you... sounds like your daughter is not taking this bit of information to heart... slackers do not survive in most prep schools...

I know this sounds hard and cruel to many here, but sometimes our kids need to be told the world does not revolve around them, rules are there for a reason, and they need to suck in and deal...

and get over the uniform thing already... everyone wears them, everyone thinks they are ugly, and you will survive this..

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 5:50PM
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I know a lot of the moms(and maybe their daughters)are interested in how things are going in this situation with the gym class difficulties(which almost became a phobia of avoidance for Kimmy). A lot of the girls on the gURL website(her own peers)told her to SUCK IT UP and get on with life BUT many have offered her EXCELLENT suggestions for solving these issues and showing improvement. She was upset at the SUCK IT UP Comments but she realized the girls had all passed PE Class and she has not. Kimmy and I do have good communication(now that she is living with me and the Gossip Girls type social clique from her past is a thing of the past with me). She and I read her own entries on the gURL website about this issue and they were WHINEY and immature for a 9th Grader.Kimmy is making progress toward solving this. Again many of the comments on the websiteto her from girls who have taken an interest have been supportive and several offered excellent strategies to improve her physical fitness. Here we go with the progress as the First Nine Week Grading Period ended at the school on Friday. Her two PE Teachers met with me and Kimmy will get a C (passing grade) 70 (lowest possible passing grade at that school)for Physical Education. With the P(Passing) Grade brought with her from that class at the public high school in North Carolina for five of the nine weeks(PE/Health was taught in a computer lab with interactive software...casual clothes,flipflops,snacks,you get the image. Actual physical activity -free choice-was 30 minutes on Fridays there... I know many of you,like me,don't see the logic of Physical Education taught by computer,but very few public schools even require specific physical fitness classes with vigorous fitness requirements even as the state of youth health in the U>S> declines. Health Education could certainly be taught with software but Physical Education....GIVE ME A BREAK as they say on the television program with John Stoessel.With the emphasis in the public schools on basic ACADEMIC SKILLS testing many public schools have or are eliminating physical education requirements,health/safety ed.,the arts,home economics/consumer living,vocational ed.,continuing on and on.I know it my heart it was the right decision to transfer my daughter to an all girls private school here in Virginia. I really think there is an opportunity for Kimmy to experience support but demands,high standards,and leadership development/community service. The comments many of you made to my original entry(OP) about a week ago have been both helpful and thoughtful,most recently from plumbly 22. Because Kimmy's PE grade was passing from the transfer school,she got an excellent(28 out of 30 points)on the written Field Hockey Skills Test for the first unit this year,30 of 50 points on the performance skills testing(fitness,field hockey,beginner ballet,beginning swimming class-Red Cross Level I completed---one step forward) and 12 points participation(including a very generous 10 points from the transfer class since it was ungraded at that school...S/U or P/F symbols;2 points were granted for Kimmy completing 2 hours of the PE Detention last week as the grading period ended)resulting in a score of 70. The ladies told Kimmy that the non-participation/dressing out/not showering after PE Class/ballet/swimming was at an end. The transfer points from her previous school was at only for the first grading period. Kimmy told them that she was going to get the remaining 4 hours of PE Detention served next week and NEVER AGAIN. Those sessions are very hard on her (think two PE Teachers,several girls as gym assistants,and constant activities...military boot camp get the image.. Kimmy was proud of herself for getting through two afternoons of that and not passing out but yes,you guessed it,she did throw up both sessions but the other girls did not laugh at her the second day. They offered her some of their bottled water and helped her keep going until it was finished.) The ladies told Kimmy that the girls serving as student gym assistants were there to help them but Kimmy doesn't buy that part. It's a peer thing and that new kid at school situation. When you see some girls able to do the activities so well and yes,look so good in their work out clothes which of course,the assistants get to CHOOSE,its easy for a younger student to see the "glass half empty" instead of half-full. The PE teachers explained to Kimmy the solution for the wet hair(except the chlorine remains on swim class day) was a shower cap since PE/ballet/swim class for 9th Graders is first class bell(90 minutes) each day. Except for the swim class day,no wet hair for her the other days at school. Hair that air dries sticks out on her..she says she looks like a porcupine. The TEMPORARY SOLUTION to the gymsuit issue is the combination blue shorts/blue leotard with white knee type athletic socks/athletic get the visual image..I am still trying to find some remote source for the blue onepiece gymsuit Kimmy threw away(not "lost"). The reason the school does not have any larger size (XL) gymsuits remaining this year is that they repurchase them from Senior Girls at the end of each school year to use for the upcoming school year as needed. The school has massive amounts of the gymsuits in smaller sizes from years in the past(think 1950's,1960's) but they don't fit Kimmy due to the one-piece style. I'm still trying to locate a source and feel perhaps there may be some girls private school somewhere they may have an XL size. 5'6",150 lbs.(Kimmy and I are both working together on the weight issue too). Showering after PE Class/ballet/swimming is not an option but Kimmy was allowed to wear her bathing suit except on swim class day itself when the suit has to be removed because of the chlorine. This is really a compromise Kimmy understands - 1 day butt naked instead of 5. With PE/swim Class being first class of the day(you can imagine how the 9th Grade Girls react to that when Senior Girls have PE last class period then go home or to activities/dorm rooms,etc.)I explained to Kimmy the hygiene aspects and that swimming pool chlorine can affect the body as well as the hair color. I talked with Kimmy about my getting her doctor(still a pediatrician and you know how she reacts to those office visits with the little kids staring at her and laughing and their moms quieting them but that's another story for another day)to write a note of permanent excuse from Physical Education Requirements or a note requesting the Adapted PE Class but Kimmy almost jumped out of the car. Then I realized the true impact of peer pressure on girls today. Something may be difficult or embarrassing,but they are in together and have to solve it together(with hopefully their moms support and understanding). As she put it,Kimmy said it was tough for her,but she knew she was going to solve it not drop it. Being the ONLY 9th Grader in a study hall(instead of PE) or the only 9th Grade girl without a true medical restriction in the Adapted/individualized PE /swim Class would have certainly resulted in more negative peer pressure and emotional scenes. In no way is the problem solved but there has been progress. The PE Teachers told Kimmy the PE Unit next grading period was Gymnastics/Tumbling (you should have seen her eyes as she was thinking about the balance beam and rope climb requirements),beginner ballet continues(PINK Leotard and everything although we both laugh WITH each other now that she looks like the Energizer Bunny on the television can only imaginethe image of PINK everything from the hair tie down to the slippers)and she now has to start Red Cross Level II Swim Requirements(she still sinks but I reminded Kimmy the girls serving as pool assistants who are on the swim team get her above the surface again and that her skills and swim endurance will improve with practice). Passing the Skills Level I swim test was a boost to her confidence. The school swim test comes again in January as first semester ends. I continue to show Kimmy all of the entries on this forum as I think many of the moms (and their daughters) are pulling for her success and do understand improvement is difficult but possible(the "glass half full" Concept not half empty).Kimmy understands that. I also have her in Aquatic Fitness Class with me to improve confidence in the water and endurance. She is in the Red Cross Babysitting/CPR Class two evenings where the Red Cross instructors also take the time to review swimming test requirements with her;youth bible study is one evening,and I am starting her activity with a neighbor (she is a Certified PE Teacher and teaches at the elementary school level not at Kimmy's School) to help Kimmy prepare for the Series 10 Physical Fitness Test in mid-November at her school(the Monday-Wednesday of the Thanksgiving Week)(10 fitness tests in 3 days,100 possible points,passing grade of 70 C required,which counts as the first semester exam;testing repeated in June for second semester). Each student has to choose the order of the events they will do(4 events day 1,3 events day 2,3 events day 3 with one retake allowed on day 3 among all the events if a score of 70 had not been earned). Maybe some of the moms(and their daughters) might remember those physical fitness tests since obviously there must be a strategy from a physical standpoint,as to events to group together. In my days of PE(1980's) we simply did them as one group,everyone doing the tests at the same time. At this school,to develop decision-making and self-responsibility skills,the girls rotate to event stations in the order they choose but they are responsible for the results and their endurance over the 3 days. Any ideas for a strategy there or maybe your daughters might have some ideas. Kimmy is now interested in being on the Field Hockey team next year and it seems to be a sport that could be started at high school age. She is still trying to come up with a solution to the whacks on the butt and back of the thighs with the hockey sticks during the PE Class hockey activity but I told her on a team,her teammates would look out for each other. She has not yet come up with a solution in PE Class when some of the other girls come up behind her during the game with rough stick kid experience again...and again) and Kimmy does not want to risk more PE Detention Hours. She feels she would be the one punished for fighting/lack of sportsmanship. She is trying to be cooperative with the gym teachers. Those ladies made a believer of her with the PE Detention. I knew I could not show up there but you can only imagine how bad I felt for her getting off the activity bus last Thursday and Friday at 6:00 and simply going to bed. Please keep the ideas and support coming. It's good karma. I show Kimmy all the feedback here(but you guessed it,she only shows me SOME of the girl feedback from the sisterhood of the gURL website,as I think about it,probably very little of the girl chat,it's like a diary in our day). Kimmy's other report card grades first 9weeks were 4 A's,2 B's,C(Latin) and the C(PE) but Kimmy knows the PE Grade could have been much worse and there is an opportunity for success. Now it's own to gymnastics/tumbling(new experience for her as well as me). Fencing and Girls Basketball from the 1980's did not prepare me for all the fitness opportunities girls/women have now. Thanks for your feedback and support.Kim J.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Kimj: Did you read the other post about: Opposed to required swimming/showers in P.E. that was bumped up for you and your daughter? If so, any feedback on that post?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 1:11PM
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Kimj... I know my post sounded a bit harsh, but believe me, I was right where you are with my daughter when she started at prep school in 6th grade (why is it my son did NOT put up the fuss???) Anyway, the real important thing is... every student there has gone through this same thing, and the teachers are or should be very familiar with the issues your daughter is having... actually, they'd probably tell you they would be surprised if she did NOT go through this adjustment...

Uniforms... are typically never flattering to anyone but the stick girls, who truthfully are typicaly few and far between...

shining at sports... happens for a select few in life.. and the rest of the students need to put forth effrot... their best effort... failing to do so will cause them to 'stickout' more than trying and really sucking at something... usually, even the meanest and nasty-est girls won't get down on someone who it really trying to do well and just plain not accomplishing it!

the students and the parents at these schools really want to do well and achieve in school... you have to take risk in life... and you can't let the actions of others force you to act in a way that is unacceptable in the environment you are in... it sounds harsh, and it is, but following this advice will untimately help you at the school...

rent the gilmore girls tv shows.. early seasons, and pay particular attention to the part about the girl going off to the private school and trying to fit in... it happens, but it takes time...

The school is not asking anything of your daughter that they haven't asked of the other students in the past... annd in the years to come, your daughter will be there to see the same situation arise with more 'new' students... I hope she is confident enough then to take those newcomers under her care and advise them to go with the flow and not to try to buck the system, as that typically will not work in these places... it's a life lesson that they all will get at some point, some sooner than others... sounds like your daughter got away with a lot in public school for too long...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 6:20PM
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This is just an aside about taking P.E. online. My daughter took P.E. online last year, and it was actually physically far more difficult than it would have been if she had taken it at the school.

In our county the students who take online P.E. have to wear a monitor while they exercise and download the data. They have to get their heart rate up to a certain level and keep it there for a certain amount of time. My daughter either ran or swam for her exercise.

I wish your daughter the best. It sounds like she is learning some valuable life skills, and it sounds like she had a wonderful opportunity at this new school.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:39PM
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"I talked with Kimmy about my getting her write a note of permanent excuse from Physical Education Requirements or a note requesting the Adapted PE Class..."

WHY would you do this? It's good to hear she turned you down. But why are you trying to enable her spoiled behavior? From what you've written she's not physically incapable of going to PE, she doesn't have a medical condition, she's just a non-athlete with a wicked stubborn streak. By offering her the "cheat" of the note you are telling her you will support her cheating/lying if it gets her out of a tough spot.

It's GYM for God's sake. It's not the end of the world. It's all a power play on her part, and she learned that it's the PE teachers and school administrators, not her, who have the power. She caved when she learned there was real punishment that there was no getting out of. Why would you offer her an out?

Re: field hockey, I had friends in HS that played varsity field hockey and never played it before high school (we didn't have field hockey in junior high).

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:57PM
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Did you say that these are the one piece gym uniforms that they wore in the 1960's? I would be concerned about ANY school that required their students to wear those in the year 2008. They can properly attire for P.E. with school (uniform) tee-shirts and long basketball type school uniform shorts or sweat pants for cold days..

The reason I would be concerned, would be that I would see it as a school so reluctant, and unable to progress in their thinking, their idea's and open to any form of progress.

That they are un-movable in their thought process, and will do things as they always have, and immediately dismiss any new thought or reason.

And you are saying that the other girls are encouraged to spank your daughter with hockey sticks? Are you kidding?

I will apologize in advance if I missed something. You post was so long that I stopped reading at some point. I imagine it would be helpful if you would give others the short version...there was way too much information, including that you shared not only your daughters name, but her grades as well. Why?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 9:13AM
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You should definitively talk to local attorney about filing a law suit against the school for use of such PE Detention. It is straight out dangerous, stupid and harmful. It is just question of time before someone gets killed or injured in that.Regardless if you win, defending the lawsuit will cost the school money, and put them on notice, so when they succeed in injuring someone, they will get to pay punitives. That type of barbarism can not be tolerated in 21st century.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 2:22PM
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Groups showers are hideous for teen girls....with all the mixed messages out there regarding sexual preferences, I don't know that I'd step into a group shower these days.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:26AM
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