Student Choice in PE Leads To School-Wide Success

Hutsonville High School students in the weight room.

Schools have long sought ways to teach and develop skills applicable to the “real world.” How can what we teach in schools translate to students’ lives? At Hutsonville High School in Illinois, the physical education classes have found an answer to that question.


Within Hutsonville High School’s physical education classes, students can choose from a wide range of different lifetime fitness activities. In a single class, students can choose from different fitness options like weightlifting, yoga, boxing, pilates, boot camp, and more. By encouraging exploration and student choice, Hutsonville empowers students with the skills and confidence for a lifetime of fitness, health, and wellness.

Hutsonville’s Goal To Meet Students Where They Are At 


Now in his 21st year of teaching, Randy Hawkins has seen the evolution of physical education unfold. As an early adopter of a fitness-focused curriculum, Randy always worked to find ways to get students active and moving during physical education class. 


But after a few years of a group-style workout class, Randy wanted to make a change to Hutsonville’s approach to physical education, 


“We had a good program, but everyone did relatively the same thing during class. Some students lost interest, and others plateaued and got frustrated. I wanted to find a better way to meet students where they were at within fitness.” 


Open to ideas, Randy started researching what other physical education programs were doing to motivate and engage as many students as possible within physical education. As Randy noticed a common theme about student choice, he started to think about what steps he would have to take to make it work at Hutsonville, 


“To open up your class to student choice and personalization, you need the right resources to help make it work. But it is worth it because from choice comes student engagement, motivation, and progress.” 

Preparing For Student Choice Within PE 


To help foster an environment of student choice, Randy wanted to incorporate new technology and curriculum into the classroom. After reaching out and learning more from a local school that was using PLT4M in PE (Robinson High School) , Randy took the program to his Principal and Superintendent to see what they thought, 


“We all agreed that PLT4M was a perfect fit for what we wanted to accomplish at Hutsonville. We saw an opportunity to incorporate high-quality resources into the PE classroom to help bring out the best in all our students.” 


With PLT4M, Randy started mapping out a plan that would allow students to find and choose the workout programs that fit their goals and interests, 


“The goal was to create different groups within PLT4M so that when students logged in, they could see the different workout options that aligned with the group they wanted to be in.” 


The three main groups that Hutsonville uses within physical education classes are:  


  • Strength & Conditioning 
  • Lifestyle Fitness 
  • Fit and Tone 
Example of different program options that many Hutsonville students use.
PLT4M programs page displaying some of Hutsonville students' favorite programs to use during PE class.

Student Choice In Action At Hutsonville High School 


While Hutsonville uses three groups to stay organized, students still have choices and options within the groups to try things like weightlifting, yoga, pilates, boot camp, boxing, and other PLT4M program options. Randy says that the flexibility empowers students to find what works for them, 


“The setup allows students to see all the different ways you can get a really good workout. So students have ownership and can take a personalized approach to finding a fitness plan that will help support their goals and interests.” 


During class, students can log in to PLT4M on their individual devices and start the workout they want for the day. Randy says that within PLT4M, students have had fun trying out different options, 


“Some students have bounced around to find what they like, while others know they love weightlifting and want that to be a focus, or don’t like weightlifting at all and go towards other options like yoga and pilates. There is something for everyone within PLT4M.” 


Randy notes that for the students doing weightlifting, the addition of the PLT4M app has helped boost the overall experience, 


“The kids love to see their workout plan tailored to them on the app. It gives every student a chance to make progress and see their individual growth, which can be really motivating. It has made weightlifting something more students want to participate in.” 


Different physical education teacher resources featured on a cover photo.
With PLT4M, students can access workouts, videos, and progress reports.
Student log-ins to PLT4M at Hutsonville in the last 3 months.

Student Choice: A School-Wide Game Changer 


With the new level of student choice in physical education, Hutsonville High School is seeing a dramatic increase in engagement and excitement for fitness, health, and wellness. Randy describes the new program as a game-changer for physical education, 


“The students are enjoying the new approach to physical education. They have many different options that all help them move and be physically active in a way that suits them. 


Hutsonville has students having fun, learning new things, and making progress in physical education. Combined, this makes for a powerful recipe in the world of fitness and physical education,


“We are a small school district that has embraced the importance and power of student choice. And PLT4M has helped us turn that from an idea into an effective and rewarding program for students.” 

Make Phys Ed Students' Favorite Class

Schedule a 15-Minute demo to learn how PE teachers are ushering in a new age of Physical Education with Fitness and Technology!

girl lifting weights with devices around her

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