Flexibility Through Options – PE Resources In Action
When Dave Austin took on the role as the new Director of Health, PE, and Athletics at Guilderland Central School District in New York, he knew the department had a reputation. And because he was entering the district amid a pandemic, he was excited by just how POSITIVE that reputation was.
“Everything I had heard was that the teachers in the PE department took great pride in what they did. It drew me to the district. As soon as I got here, I knew everything I had heard was correct.”
And the best part was the PE department didn’t rest on their laurels. After finishing up a fully remote spring semester that they had been thrown into, the teachers all knew they could create a better product and experience for their students with a full summer to get organized.
As the summer unfolded, and the Guilderland PE department came across PLT4M, they sat down and gave it a thorough evaluation.
For Dave, he needed to make sure that PLT4M would help to check some essential boxes.
Is it easy to navigate for the teachers? Are there plenty of resources and activities to choose from? As a former classroom teacher, is it something Dave could see himself using successfully?
After being initially impressed, Dave gathered his teachers and hopped on a training call with PLT4M.
“It didn’t take long to see that PLT4M was a great tool to put in our teacher’s tool boxes. From grades 7-12, there was something for everyone. We knew we would use it in many different ways based on our teachers, grade levels, and remote or hybrid. The options were there within PLT4M.”
Seeing the opportunity and options, Guilderland decided to add 2,200 students to PLT4M for the fall semester. Now it was time to execute.
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Options & Execution
As Guilderland went to execute and implement their PE program with the addition of PLT4M, so came the curveballs of a new school year. Some students would be entirely remote all semester. Other students would be in-person or hybrid. And to make matters more challenging, if a student was exposed to Covid, they would be forced to quarantine and go remote overnight.
So with all the different options, how did PLT4M get applied?
“We have some teachers taking all of their remote students through PLT4M lessons every week. With the fitness lessons, they are supplementing activities with quizzes and questions pertaining to the workout terminology from the program.”
Other teachers who have students in-person and remote looked at PLT4M as a great supplemental resource when needed.
“Our teachers have been so creative this fall and getting outside as much as possible. It was nice for teachers to know they didn’t have to use PLT4M every single class, but they always had it as a resource when they wanted it.”
And even just knowing that they could fit and adapt within different time frames helped teachers to plan out there lessons and curriculum in advance,
“Our middle school could grab an Intro To Fitness or Mobility lesson and be ready to go within their 40-minute class window. Our high school classes that follow a block schedule knew they could put different pieces together to fit the larger 80-minute time frame.”
Regardless of the set up or situation, Guilderland was grabbing from a variety of PLT4M programs, videos, and assignments. It was the perfect fit for all the different challenges and expectations Physical Education in a covid world had in store.
The Guilderland PE department has continued to live up to its stellar reputation through the new school year’s opening months. And just like in the summer when Dave first met with the team, the teachers are all open and willing to adapt and improve as the year goes on.
“PLT4M has been perfect for us in this landscape, but we are aware of the other opportunities in the weight room and strength and conditioning that we could continue evolving towards with PLT4M once things are ‘back to normal'”.
With a department hard at work, using the resources at their disposal, and keeping their options and minds open, the Guilderland PE department is continuing to set the example for a robust and engaging Physical Education program.
“Our teachers are tremendous, and I am so proud of what they have done with this school year and PLT4M. There is something for everyone if you are willing to give it a try, and our team certainly has. I look forward to what is to come!”