Marion County Public School Physical Education Guidelines for COVID 19 are being followed during your child's P.E. class time. The guidelines include when and how a mask/face covering should be worn along with social distancing, which includes keeping space between yourself and others.
At Anthony Elementary, Mrs. Diaz and Mr. Solomon are working diligently every day to maintain those specific guidelines. There are times during class that it may appear to those passing by our PE field that the guidelines are not being followed. Let me assure you that when we are being proactive and making sure these guidelines are being adhered to for the safety of all students.
A concern was raised recently about the children running laps with their facemasks on. The district guideline is well defined and states that when students are able to properly maintain social distancing at P.E., they can remove their mask/face covering. When the student comes within 6 feet of another student, and maintaining social distancing is not an option, the students must wear their mask/face coverings. Before Mrs. Diaz and I allow the students to go jog, we have reminded the students that, as long as they run by themselves and are not in close proximity to others, they are allowed and encouraged to remove their masks/face coverings. We have also reminded the students that if they choose to be with a friend and they are going to be walking and talking, they both must have the mask/face coverings on. The problem is that many of the students choose to keep their mask on while running, even though they are by themselves. There have been numerous discussions with each class that it is OK to take the mask off while jogging alone but, at times, they simply choose to keep it on. It is puzzling and difficult to understand why they would want to keep the mask on, but they do.
Right now, the weather is very warm and humid. During the school day normal student movement has been restricted. Children need to move and many love to run, so we try to provide them plenty of time to move and run during P.E. When we get ready to let the students run, the amount of time they run or the number of laps we challenge them to run is always based upon the environmental conditions we are working in. In addition, unless there is a specific requirement for a timed test for cardiopulmonary endurance, the students always have the option to Run, Walk or Jog the specified number of laps or for the specified amount of time. We encourage students to jog or power walk at least one lap to get their heart rate up and work off their extra energy. During the warm up time we do require them to keep moving in some way because it is healthy for them to do so. During the first few weeks of school we keep the running/jogging to a maximum of one to two laps per class time so that the students can start to acclimate to exercising in the Florida heat.