Physical education classes are back in full swing at Dutchess BOCES but with more measures in place and different activities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The class was altered for both students studying remotely and those in-person either on Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays, said Teresa Ricci, health teacher at the Alternative High School. Teachers still try to meet the goal of having everyone move at least 30 minutes a day.
“We have to be very creative as to how we get them involved and how we get them moving,” Ricci said. “It’s definitely different than what we’re used to.”
Options for activities are limited due to social distancing rules, but students are able to walk, stretch and play basketball, the latter of which is achieved by playing the game H-O-R-S-E or doing 2 on 2 games, Ricci said. Contact sports are prohibited as well as activities that involve sharing equipment like badminton and bowling.
Students must wear masks while participating in an activity, but have frequent water breaks and time to take their masks off and breath far away from each other, Ricci said. After class, all equipment is sanitized.
“We do the best that we can,” she said. “It’s difficult, but it’s just different, we’ve got to get used to it.”
Additionally, students have individual work matched to their needs, Ricci said. She and physical education teacher Sal Rosa make sure anything students do, can be done safely.
“It’s easier for them so they can go at their own pace whether they’re here or at home,” Ricci said. “Whatever they really want to do we make sure that it’s possible to do it.”
Physical activities may prove challenging during the winter months, but students can still do some basketball and walking inside, as well as yoga, Ricci said, adding the activities should be as different and creative as possible.
“They want to get outside every day, but we can’t do that when the weather’s not the best,” she said. Last week, students in Ricci’s class were playing basketball on the court outside of the BETA building. They were thrilled to be back in action.
“I’m excited to be back with them, I miss them for sure,” Ricci said.
It has been some time since Vincent Anfuso, who is earning his High School Equivalency diploma, has been back to school. He was happy to play again even with the new rules in mind, he said.
“I don’t like wearing the mask, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” he said.